EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an op-ed that appeared in local newspapers, written by Dr. William Childers, reminding us all that it’s Physician Assistants Week across the nation!
We all know that receiving medical care can be stressful. Whether you’re nervous about a procedure, frustrated at the wait time for an appointment, or visiting a new medical practice for the first time, navigating the healthcare world can be understandably unnerving.
But PAs, or physician assistants, are here to help.
When you need healthcare, our goal is to be there for you. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and work with your healthcare provider. PAs improve healthcare access and quality, making it easier for you to get the care you need.
From October 6-12, we’re celebrating PA Week, which recognizes our profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. During PA Week, we hope you’ll have the chance to talk to a PA about what it is we do, and why we’re proud to do it.
Even if you haven’t been treated by a PA before, there’s a good chance you will in the near future. There are more than 123,000 PAs working across the country—and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is expected to grow 37 percent between 2016 and 2036.
Here in West Virginia, and in the Ohio Valley, PAs are providing high quality care. There’s a good chance there are PAs working in some of the medical offices you visit, and you may even know some students planning to pursue careers in the PA profession.
The PA profession is committed to improving access to quality care for all patients, including you and your loved ones. The healthcare system can be complicated and at times, frustrating—but through it all, as a valuable member of the healthcare team, PAs will be there to advocate for you, the patient.
— William A. Childers Jr.
Director of WLU Physician Assistant Studies master’s degree program
For complete information on the PA program, please call 304-336-5098.