It’s National Physician Assistant Week, which is celebrated annually from October 6-12 and the theme of this year is “PAs Are Essential”. This week is all about celebrating the PA profession and its contributions to our countries health. This PA Week is especially significant because of the global pandemic and the phenomenal efforts PAs everywhere have made to combat COVID-19, serve on the front lines, and help keep our loved ones safe and healthy.
A Physicians Assistant is a medical professional who can diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and may serve as your primary healthcare provider. PAs improve healthcare access and quality, making it easier for you to get the care you need. This is also a profession that is expected to grow by 37% between 2016 and 2036 meaning more PAs to appreciate during National Physicians Assistant Week.
National Physician Assistant Week began as National Physician Assistant Day, celebrated annually on its founder, Eugene A Stead Jr.’s birthday- October 6. The first National Physician Assistant Week was on October 6, 1987. This date commemorated the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class from Duke University’s PA program! Today, there is more than 140,000 PAs practicing in the US.
Interested in following all things PA Week? Follow AAPA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to see all of the PA Week celebrations across the country and use the hashtags #PAweek and #PAsAreEssential to join the conversation. They even have a Facebook profile overlay and are running a PA Week Instagram Contest. To enter, you must post to your Instagram feed during the week of October 6-12, use #PAweek and tag @AAPAorg in your post. Check out their Instagram for more information and to learn all about PA Week!
So, how can we thank the PA in our life for all that they do? First, let them know how much you appreciate them and the work that they do. Drop off handwritten thank you cards to the PAs at your doctor’s offices, get them a gift card to a coffee shop or a popular retailer, or buy them a fun coffee mug! All small gestures but this year more than ever, we need to show our PAs how much we appreciate them.
To the PAs reading this – We appreciate you and hope you feel loved and celebrated this week and always!