Happy PA Week

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 6-12, 2009 is the official PA week! To celebrate, my class (as many other classes and PAs around the country) is doing lots of exciting things. First, we mailed postcards with our class picture to PAs all around Knoxville and the surrounding cities to say thank you for doing what they do. Wednesday night, I headed back out to Under the Bridge (see previous Under the Bridge post for details) to help the homeless with minor care, blood pressure readings, and blood glucose testing. Yesterday, our class and the new PA class put together a huge potluck lunch for our PA faculty. And today, I woke up to this fabulous, super exciting CNN article!....

Top 50 Best Jobs in America

2. Physician Assistant
Top 50 rank: 2
Sector: Healthcare

What they do: Call it MD lite. Working under the supervision of a doctor, PAs do all tasks involved in routine medical care, such as diagnosing illnesses and assisting in surgery. In most states they can write prescriptions as well.

Why it's great: You get the satisfaction of treating patients minus insurance hassles, since PAs have far less administrative responsibility than the typical MD. "I'm part of a team yet have a lot of autonomy," says PA Robert Wooten.

You don't have to take on the time or expense of med school and the field is virtually recession-proof, owing to an ongoing shortage of primary-care physicians. PAs are also far cheaper to employ than MDs, so demand is expected to steadily increase as medical facilities try to rein in costs, says Bill Leinweber, CEO of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

And since they don't need as much specialized training as doctors, PAs can switch from, say, geriatrics to emergency care with relative ease.

Drawbacks: It's a fairly new profession, so the number of annual job openings is still small.

Pre-reqs: A master's degree; 100 hours of training every two years; recertification every six.


Come next Wednesday, we will finish our week by providing the first annual Diabetes Clinic (also directed to the homeless) to educate the public about the increasing incidence of diabetes, management, and treatment. I will be the one to actually do the blood glucose testing next week! For each person that receives the blood test, they will receive free goody bags and most exciting, FREE SHOES! We have been collecting shoes for the past few weeks to make this huge part so successful! The homeless population tends to do lots of walking, as we all know, and absolutely cherish good shoes more than you could imagine. Having diabetes makes good shoes that much more important because of the huge risk for foot infections and trauma associated with the disease! SO if you see a PA, be sure to wish them a happy PA week!

If you don't know a PA now, get excited because in less than 15 months, you will know at least one PA!

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One Response to “Happy PA Week”

Anonymous said...

Couldn't be prouder!! Wish I was closer to send you some shoes. Great idea. Love you lots Grandma