There are so many national recognition holidays – some we’re familiar with (like National Pet Day – cue the flood of adorable pet pictures on social media!), and some are more unusual (probably a good idea to pick your friends wisely for National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day). Other holidays are more serious and are intended to drive awareness around important issues, like National Wear Red Day for American Heart Month. But what about National Physician Assistant (PA) Week? What is it, and why is it important? Maybe you’re familiar with it, or perhaps you don’t even know what a PA is. Either way, in this blog, we’re going to share why National PA Week is important and offer up some ways you can celebrate the nation’s 159,000 Certified PAs and show appreciation for your Certified PA.
What is National PA Week?
National PA Week takes place every year from October 6 – October 12. This week is dedicated to recognizing the contributions that PAs make in health care every day. Certified PAs practice medicine on health care teams and perform a wide range of services and procedures, including conducting physical exams, making diagnoses, prescribing medications, managing chronic illnesses, assisting in surgery and more! October 6 (which is National PA Day) is the date the first three PAs graduated from the Duke University PA Program back in 1967. October 6 also happens to be the birthday of the profession’s founder, Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. Many reasons to celebrate!
Why is National PA Week Important?
This year there are 159,000 unique reasons as to why PA Week is important, but to keep it brief, we’ll share just three reasons to celebrate Certified PAs:
- Certified PAs increase access to high quality health care to millions of patients every week.
Approximately 9.9 million patients each week are seen and treated by PAs. That works out to about 514 million patient visits every year (half a billion)!
Certified PAs are crucial to the health care team and can fill gaps wherever needed. Having PAs in the workforce can also help to decrease your wait time, thus enabling you to get the care you need when you need it.
- Certified PAs practice everywhere – in every specialty and in every setting.
You could see a PA in your primary care office helping you manage your diabetes, in a pediatric office monitoring your child’s health, in the hospital assisting in surgery or in the emergency department managing patients with emergent conditions. From routine medical services to intricate procedures, #PAsDoThat!
- Certified PAs have stepped up to the front lines of health care.
PAs have a strong reputation for high-quality patient care. The profession was created to meet the increased demand for patient care in the 1960s and they continue to serve on the front lines today, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PA profession constantly demonstrates its commitment to patient care and has truly answered the call to serve their patients and serve their communities, just as this profession has always done.
How Can You Celebrate National PA Week?
If you’d like to show your appreciation to all the Certified PAs there are several things you can do:
- If you see your Certified PA between October 6-12 be sure to tell them Happy PA Week, and thank them for all they do!
- If you have a PA that you’re proud of and want to share a story of how they made a difference in your health care, email us and we may just share your story on this site!
- Go to your social network of choice, and share the image and shout-out below:
“Did you know October 6-12 is National PA Week? Certified PAs practice medicine on health care teams and make a difference in patients’ lives every day. See what they do every day for you and me at PAsDoThat.net.”