What is Physician Assistant Week?
National Physician Assistant Week is a week-long event that takes place from October 6th to October 12th every year. This event aims to celebrate physician assistants around the world and also increase the public awareness of the vital role PAs play in medicine.
Currently, there are over 150,000 PAs in the U.S., with them having more than 400 million interactions with patients per year. Physician assistant is listed as #1 on the best 100 jobs according to US News & World Report and #5 on the fastest growing jobs in Americas according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
History of Physician Assistant Week
The first PA Day was on October 6th 1987, 22 years after Dr. Eugene Stead founded the professional at Duke Medical Center in 1965. This was also Dr. Stead’s birthday, which wasn’t a coincidence. During that first celebration, stickers and information pamphlets were handed out to increase awareness of the profession and its importance in medicine.
In 2004, the AAPA House of Delegates changed the celebrated day from PA Day to PA Week. The reason being that PAs were becoming more popular in the job market and that one day to celebrate and continue raising awareness did not suffice.
How to Celebrate Physician Assistant Week
Special Physician Assistant CME Offers
Many CME providers offer special offers on their Physician Assistant CME activities during PA week. CMEList supports physician assistants by offering several CME activities aimed for PAs as well as highlighting upcoming physician assistant CME conferences to help you meet your career requirements.
Using the hashtag #PAweek in a social media post talking about Physician Assistants is the most straightforward way to celebrate PA Week. If you’re a PA, use this hashtag to share a story on why you love being a PA and if you’re not, write about why you appreciate the profession. Here are some PA Week graphics you can use from AAPA to enhance your post.
Make a Donation
Through the PA Foundation’s Pay It Forward campaign, you can make a small monetary donation which helps the foundation create grants & scholarships, educational programs for PAs, and other resources for PAs to use to equip them better for the roles.
Attend a PA Week Event
The AAPA is hosting a number of events to celebrate PA Week, both online and in-person. Take a look at the events below.
- AAPA Virtual Career Fair – October 12th, 5pm to 8pm EDT. A FREE virtual event that connects PAs and PA students with potential employers.
- Pacers for Health 5K Run/Walk - October 6th to October 12th.
The AAPA also encourages PAs to host their own event at their workplace. You can use their downloadable banner to print posters, tablecloths, and handouts.
Write to Your Legislators to Obtain a PA Week Proclamation
A proclamation is a public announcement issued by officials to commend a particular event, person, or upcoming celebration. PA Week is the perfect celebration to request a proclamation to highlight and honor Physician Assistants.
The AAPA has more information regarding obtaining a proclamation here, if you’re interested in requesting one.