Duke Physician Assistant Program Celebrates 50 Years of Educating PAs

Students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Duke Physician Assistant Program celebrated the program’s 50th anniversary in October, marking the milestone of being the first physician assistant (PA) program in the nation and the birthplace of the PA profession.

The Duke PA program has consistently been ranked one of the top programs in the nation, and currently is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report. There currently are 179 students in the program — 91 in the first-year class, and 88 in the second-year class. 

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The Medical Center Library and Archives announced a new exhibit: Celebrating 50 Years of the Duke Physician Assistant Program: The Birth of a Profession.  Featuring artifacts, photographs, and documents from the Medical Center Archives collections, the exhibit charts the founding, growth, and accomplishments of Duke’s PA Program. Highlights include a 1964 letter written by Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr., expressing his desire to start the program at Duke, scrapbooks and publications made by PA students, and the 1966 issue of Look magazine that introduced the profession, and Duke’s program, to the general public.

Celebrating 50 Years may be seen on Level 1 of the Medical Center Library from October 1, 2015 to January 28, 2016. To learn more about the PA Program’s history, visit the PA Program Records finding aid or go to MEDSpace to see digitized items from this collection.

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