National PA Week is October 6-12. Wapiti is proud to partner with physician assistants; we recognize the value, insight, and integrity they bring to the medical community. We also take this time to acknowledge Kim Herrmann. In addition to serving as Wapiti CEO, Kim is a licensed PA who continues to practice through locum tenens assignments as well as serve as a mentor to others.
More than 131,000 PAs practice throughout the United States in every medical setting and specialty, and that number continues to increase. As one of the fastest-growing careers in the country, the demand for PAs has expanded by more than 300 percent in recent years.
PAs are educated at the master’s degree level, with a rigorous curriculum modeled on the medical school program. It involves both didactic and clinical education training. In the didactic phase, courses include basic medical sciences, behavioral sciences, and behavioral ethics. In the clinical phase, students complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in medical and surgical disciplines, including family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.
PA education and practice emphasizes patient education, preventive care, and chronic care management. This generalist medical training enables them to provide a wide spectrum of patient care and treat the whole patient. PAs often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile and provide a collaborative experience for patients.
As we continue to celebrate National PA Week, we want to sincerely thank all physician assistants and your contribution to healthcare. (The information and statistics above are from the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).