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Students Celebrate National Physician Assistant Week

Pennsylvania College of Technology physician assistant students form a %E2%80%9Chuman bridge%E2%80%9D to demonstrate the Pennsylvania-wide Physician Assistant Day theme, %E2%80%9CBridging the Gap in Healthcare.%E2%80%9DPhysician assistant students at Pennsylvania College of Technology celebrated Physician Assistant Day on campus Oct. 6 by spreading awareness of their chosen profession and sharing “PA Day” treats with the college community.

The Pennsylvania-wide theme for this year’s PA Day “Bridging the Gap in Healthcare” stresses the importance of the role of physician assistants in addressing patients’ needs. The Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants presented the Penn College PA Program with a banner displaying the theme. In celebration of the day, Penn College physician assistant students constructed a human bridge to show their support and commitment to providing health care to all members of the community.

PA Day marks the beginning of National Physician Assistant Week, celebrated every year Oct. 6-12. The week serves to celebrate the significant impact PAs have made and continue to make in health care, to expand awareness of the profession, and to salute its outstanding growth.

On Oct. 6, 1967, the first physician assistants graduated from Duke University. Today, there are more than 74,000 PAs providing care across the United States.

PAs are licensed health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with supervising physicians. They deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs interview patients to collect their medical histories, conduct physical exams, order and interpret tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, counsel on preventive health care, and assist in surgery.

There were nearly 250 million visits to PAs last year. Now that the health care reform bill has passed, more people will be seeking medical care. PAs are an integral part of addressing the new demands for care, especially in primary care and family practices, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

For more information about the PA profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants website .

To learn more about the physician assistant major and other academic programs offered by the School of Health Sciences at Penn College, call 570-327-4519 or visit online .

For general information about the college, visit on the Web , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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