It was in the 1960’s when the physician assistant concept was developed. Jonathan Sobel is the President of the America Academy of Physician Assistants and says there was a shortage of physicians and many combat medics were returning from Vietnam. The program was developed to put their skills to civilian use. That concept worked very well.
Sobel says, “PA stands for physician assistant and we are medical professionals who diagnose illness and develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications and often serve as a patient’s health care provider. We work on health care teams with physicians and other and other providers in just about every medical setting and specialty you could think of. There are more than 123,000 of us in the United States and in Nebraska more than 1,000 PAs are practicing.”
The median base salary of a P.A. in Nebraska is $97,000 annually. Programs are 27 months or 3 academic years and a bachelor’s degree is required for acceptance. Sobel is hoping that more people interested in the medical field research becoming a PA. There continues to be a doctor shortage, especially in rural areas of the state were PAs serve a major role in the health care setting.
This is National PA Week.