October 6 through 12 is National Physician Assistant Week. Officially celebrated for the first time in 1987, it marks the anniversary of the first graduation of physician assistants from Duke University’s Physician Assistant Program in 1967.
The week allows physician assistants (PAs) the opportunity to educate others about the profession. In addition, it gives patients a chance to show their appreciation to practitioners who help make the medical field that much more efficient.
History of the Physician Assistant Profession
In 1965, a faculty committee at Duke University Medical Center was appointed to examine the future role of preventive medicine in the university’s curriculum. As a result, the department was redeveloped to have a broader role in healthcare interwoven with internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and other clinical teachings. The new focus was on groups of patients, the organization and delivery of healthcare, and access to healthcare. In addition, utilization of diverse disciplines such as social sciences, economics, epidemiology, biostatistics, and computer science.
The two-year physician assistant program was designed to train people to fill the gap between doctors and nurses during a time when a nursing shortage existed. PAs have been an integral part of healthcare for almost 25 years. Statistical information compiled by the National Commission of Certified PAs shows nearly 150,000 certified PAs currently practicing in the United States. What’s more, 91% of patients say PAs improve the quality of healthcare.
Physician Assistant Week Celebrations
Several virtual and in-person events will be hosted during PA week.
- PAs on the Plaza: to kick off PA Week 2021, PAs and PA students will pack the Today Show Plaza with white coats on Wednesday, October 6, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Participants are asked to bring their own posters and remember to wear a short or long white coat.
- PA Foundation Fitness Events: the Physician Assistant Foundation sponsors the Pacers for Health wellness challenge and 5K walk/run. Registration is open to practicing PAs as well as students.
- AAPA Virtual Career Fair: the American Academy of Physician Assistants connects PAs with potential employers in private practice, group practices, hospitals, and health systems during this free online symposium. PAs will close out the week with this popular recruitment event on Tuesday, October 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. EDT.
PA Career Trends for the Future
Physician Assistants are in high demand. As are, the profession is one of the fastest-growing in the country, with the number of jobs increasing by more than 300% between 2011 and 2014. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for PAs is projected to grow 31% between 2020 and 2030. Over the decade, an average of 12,200 openings for PAs is expected per year. Much faster than the average for all other professions.
The Benefits of Locum Tenens for PAs
Because PAs are so broadly trained, they are well suited to locum tenens positions. In addition, working locum tenens offers flexibility and the freedom to choose a suitable work schedule. Travel, exposure to different work environments, and the ability to go where care is most needed are all part of the package.
Locum tenens positions offer PAs improved quality of life, the opportunity for higher pay, and a CV that reflects independence and adaptability.
Locum Tenens Placement with VISTA
If you’re a physician assistant looking to make a difference, check out VISTA’s job board to find your next assignment. We offer rewarding opportunities in all 50 states to Advanced Practice Providers. Our experienced recruiters will match your skills and experience to a facility that is right for you in the place where you want to work.
VISTA provides competitive compensation and paid professional liability insurance with no placement feels. Our dedicated team will help you determine your best options and assist with licensing, credentialing, and securing privileges. Assignments last from a few weeks to several months with the possibility of permanent employment. Speak with a VISTA recruiter today to get started.