Gardner-Webb Celebrates National Physician Assistant (PA) Week

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Observance Recognizes Contributions Physician Assistants Make to Healthcare 

students using the virtual cadaver labBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—The Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program at Gardner-Webb University celebrates National PA Week Oct. 6-12, recognizing the important contributions that PAs make to North Carolina’s healthcare system. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the profession, which was started by Dr. Eugene A. Stead Jr. at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

In 2014, GWU established the PA Studies Program in the College of Health Sciences. The first class of 22 students graduated in 2016. They secured jobs in an array of rural and urban medical settings, including trauma centers, emergency departments and internal medicine clinics.

“Here at Gardner-Webb University’s PA program, we are learning to recognize the value of every type of patient—the old, the young, the healthy, the chronically ill, the rich, the poor, the gifted, and the disabled,” reflected Megan Blum, a PA student from the Class of 2019. “All of our future patients are important to us—they motivate us to be the best students we can be. PA week helps us honor those who built up our profession, and it allows us to share our values and passions with our local, national, and global communities.”

During the week, students in the PA Studies Program will be hosting events on campus to highlight Gardner-Webb’s program and the PA profession. PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty. They conduct physical exams, perform medical procedures, first assist in surgery, counsel patients on preventative healthcare, coordinate patient care, make rounds in nursing homes and hospitals, and conduct clinical research. There are currently more than 115,000 PAs in the country and over 5,700 in North Carolina.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at