Governor Herbert Declares Oct 6-12 PA Appreciation Week


Press Release

The Utah Academy of Physician Assistants (UAPA) is pleased to announce that Governor Herbert has declared October 6-12, 2017 Physician Assistant Appreciation Week in Utah. The greater than 1,000 Physician Assistants (PAs) licensed in Utah continue to make a dramatic impact on the health and wellbeing of populations throughout the state.

PAs complete an intensive 27-month (roughly 3 academic years) graduate level educational program alongside physicians and other medical professionals. To be licensed to practice medicine, PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program, participate in a 2,000-hour clinical preceptorship and pass an extensive national certification exam. PAs practice throughout Utah but are perhaps most noticeable in rural communities where they are often the only source of health care for entire towns. Large multispecialty clinics, hospitals and primary care clinics commonly have PAs providing care to patients as well. It is estimated that 10% of all prescriptions written in Utah are written by PAs.

“I am excited that Governor Herbert has recognized the significant contribution of PAs in Utah. Many medically underserved populations in Utah are dependent on the services of PAs” said Kim McFarlane, President of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants. He should know, as he has been the sole medical provider in the town of Green River and routinely handles runny noses to major trauma from car accidents on nearby Interstate 70.

According to Sheralee Petersen, a UAPA board member, “Senator Shiozawa sponsored an update to the PA practice act this last legislative session that really updates our practice act into the electronic medical record age. This is especially helpful to PAs currently pioneering telemedicine in Utah.”

As health care continues to evolve, PAs will be at the cutting edge looking out for their patients’ best interests.

For more information on the PA profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants website:

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