Each year from October 6-12, we celebrate National PA Week, which recognizes the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. New England Urgent Care is proud of its unique, emergency medicine-experienced PA staff who are all trained in Emergency Medicine.
About 50 years ago a handful of Navy Corp Men, who had probably seen and treated more trauma than the vast majority of Physicians at the time, having returned from the battle fields of Vietnam, graduated as the Unites States first Physician Assistants. Forward looking Physicians of that day recognized the potential of taking Men and Women of the armed forces who had done battlefield medicine and training them further so that they could assist in what was then viewed and continues to be a crisis of shortage of Physician Generalists. The rest is history.
This thumbnail history reminds me very much of my own experience with battlefield medicine and for that matter Navy Corp Men. In 2003/4 I was deployed to Iraq and was assigned the dubious task of being Battalion Surgeon for Abu Ghraib prison. Were it not for the competence and sense of purpose that a dedicated group of Navy Corp Men whom I led at the time,we would not have been able to accomplish the daunting task of treating and maintaining the health of 1500 American Soldiers and Six thousand Iraqi Prisoners. We managed to do this under the austere and stressful environment of the battlefield were we were being mortared on a regular basis. It was a true privilege to serve alongside and lead these amazing people.
I believe it was my experience with the Navy Corp Men which truly opened my eyes to the potential of working with Personnel who had substantive medical training and real life experience yet were not Physicians. It was thus not a huge leap of faith when Yahel and I decided to delegate the most sacred responsibility we have for our patients care and welfare to what are euphemistically called Physicians’ Assistants.
Our faith as it turned out has not been misplaced. As I often tell anyone who wants to listen, the PA’s that are part of New England Urgent Care can run circles around most Internists and Family Physicians that I know. Like those whom I served with in Iraq, our PA’s are highly competent and deliver their care with a sense of purpose. Also, they come together as a team delivering exceptional care under sometimes stressful circumstances as evidenced by that 80 year old man whose life was saved two weeks ago by an amazing team of PA’s, RN’s, MA’s, X-ray Techs and Front Desk Personnel. It also is a very true honor and privilege to serve and lead such an august team in New England Urgent Care. Please make sure you show your appreciation to our wonderful and talented Physician Assistant team not just this week, but also year round.
With the Greatest Respect and Admiration,
Yahel and Michael
Learn more about PAs at https://www.aapa.org/what-is-a-pa/