How Well Do You Know Your Physician Assistant History?

How well do you know your Physician Assistant history? You may know enough of the bullet points to get through your interview, but will that may not be enough to get a good understanding of the profession.

To be able to effectively convey your reasons for wanting to become a physician assistant, it’s important to understand what a physician assistant does. If you don’t have a solid knowledge of where the profession came from, how it was founded, and how it grew to the point it is today, you’ll have a difficult time justifying why you want to become a physician assistant rather than a doctor or nurse practitioner.

A Short History of the Physician Assistant Profession

In the 1960’s, Dr. Eugene Stead, regarded as the father of the physician assistant profession, created the first physician assistant program at Duke University. The first class members were military personnel; mainly US Navy corpsmen and US Army combat medics. They graduated on October 6, 1966, which is now considered the date on which the profession began. Today, the week of October 6th-11this recognized as National Physician Assistant Week commemorating the graduation of that first class.

If you’re looking for a great way to study PA history or just want to keep up on your PA trivia, the Physician Assistant History Society has a great set of tests that will keep you on your toes! Visit to test your knowledge or learn more about the PA profession.

The Physician Assistant History Society has worked hard to compile these tests to help you feel prepared and confident for interview day. Taking some time to follow the links included in the tests will give you great insight into the foundation of the PA profession and make it easy to absorb the material.