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NLM, in Partnership with the Physician Assistant History Society, launches “Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care”

Traveling Banner Exhibition and Online Exhibition Open October 6, 2016

The National Library of Medicine, in partnership with the Physician Assistant History Society, launches Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care, a traveling banner exhibition with an online adaptation. This exhibition was curated by Loren Miller, PhD, an independent historian and curator.

Collaboration has been the foundation of the Physician Assistant (PA) profession since the first three PAs graduated from Duke University’s training program in 1967. PAs practice medicine as a dynamic part of a team, alongside doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals; and work within diverse communities to treat patients and improve lives by addressing health care shortages. Originally focused on general practice, today’s PAs serve in a variety of medical specialties and settings. The field continues to widen, as PAs aid populations all over the world in times of need and training programs proliferate globally.

Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care describes how the profession developed as a solution to meet the social and health care needs of the mid-20th century and continues to evolve today. The exhibition features stories of PAs in communities all over the world and on the front lines of health crises, like the recent Ebola epidemic. It also features PAs from the highest echelons of government, including Congresswoman Karen Bass from California and George McCullough, the first White House PA.

The online exhibition offers resources for educators and students, including lesson plans for middle school and high school classrooms, a higher education module, and a robust selection of related links and suggested readings.

Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care will travel to 50 sites across the country over the next four years. Please visit the Traveling Exhibition Services Web site to see the tour itinerary and find this exhibition near you.

Images from Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care

Two men examine a patient using stethoscopes

Dr. Amos Johnson (left) personally trained Buddy Treadwell (right) to conduct initial patient examinations and other tasks, such as identifying carotid arteries, Garland, NC, 1967

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Two men in military uniform take a patient’s blood pressure

U.S. Army Capt Victor Tucker, PA-C (left) cares for a patient, Kapisa, Afghanistan, 2008

Courtesy Physician Assistant History Society

A woman walks down a dirt road with 4 smiling children, one holds her hand, one hugs her.

In 1998, PA-C Winne Barron opened the Makindu Children's Program to provide children orphaned by AIDS with medical care, food, education, and support, Makindu, Kenya, 2009

Courtesy Makindu Children's Program/Cathy DeLong

A man offers his knee to a boy with a reflex hammer in a classroom setting

Mentor J. Curtis Vaughn, PA-C teaches YMCA campers how to use a reflex hammer at a Project Access event, Atlanta, GA, 2010

Courtesy American Academy of Physician Assistants

A woman in a suit holds a huge $3M check from the CDC to the South LA Healthcare Organizing Project, while children in slogan T-shirts surround her

Congresswoman Karen Bass, PA accepts a “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health” grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a Community Coalition health project, Los Angeles, 2014

Courtesy Taylor Haney and USC/Annenberg Intersections South LA

Three men in military uniform are engaged in a swearing in ceremony

In the Oval Office, the White House physician, Adm William Matthew Lukash (right), swears in George McCullough (center) as the first PA-C commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, while the Air Force surgeon general, Gen George Shaffer (left), watches, Washington, DC, 1978

Courtesy Physician Assistant History Society

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