In Honor of National PA Week...

In Honor of National PA Week...

Heather Marie Hylton, PA-C

Oct 13, 2011
National Physician Assistant Week occurs every year from October 6th through the 12th. One of the goals of this distinct week is to increase public awareness of the profession. Our profession is indeed young: the Duke University Physician Assistant Program took its first students, convened by Dr. Eugene Stead in 1965, and graduated its first class of PAs on October 6, 1967. There are now more than 80,000 Physician Assistants practicing today, a fraction of whom practice in oncology.

We know we are amidst trying times and much uncertainty about a number of issues, not the least of which are the economy and health care reform.  

What we do know is that patients will continue to need access to quality cancer care.  

We also know there are many potential obstacles to our patients being able to acquire such care.

As PAs, our primary focus is honing our knowledge and skills to provide compassionate and high quality care to our patients. This is what we are trained to do and what we excel in doing.

There is, however, no time like the present for us to hone our advocacy skills and help back efforts to ensure access to quality cancer care for our patients in the years to come.  

As National PA Week draws to a close, I would like to submit to my fellow PAs a challenge:

Take the passion you have for your work to the next level and become actively involved in an advocacy effort! Such advocacy is as important as the care we provide every day for our patients.  

Not sure where to start? Check out ASCO in Action for an exhaustive listing of areas where advocacy is needed along with information on how to become involved.  

Whether you choose to champion reimbursement issues, quality measures, drug shortages, access to care, or any of a number of other equally important issues, know that your work can make a difference.  

I wish you well and welcome your comments!


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