Veterans Resource Center
In 2019, two resolutions (C-04 and C-05) passed at the House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Denver, Colorado. The House Officers established the Task Force on Veterans in PA Programs to address the charges in the resolutions. The task force was charged with creating an online resource for veterans interested in applying to PA school and collaborating with the PA Education Association (PAEA) to determine how more veterans can be recruited into PA school.
Thank you to the following PAs for their work on the Task Force on Veterans in PA Programs: Chair Bob Potter, PA-C, DFAAPA; Johnnie Gilpen, PA-C; Bess Lawrie O’Keeffe, PA-C;Mark McKinnon, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA; and PAEA Representative Dale Robertson, DMSc, MCHS, PA-C.
The PA profession’s beginnings are rooted in the military. To address the shortage of primary care physicians in the 1960s, Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center, selected four Navy Hospital Corpsmen with considerable medical training gained during their military service.
- For more information about the history of the PA profession, please visit the “History of the PA Profession” page.
Veterans are also uniquely suited to the demands of PA school. A recent survey conducted among veterans who are practicing PAs felt that their military experience fully prepared them for the rigors of PA school, which lasts approximately 27 months. PA students take classes in basic medical sciences, behavioral sciences, and behavioral ethics. PA students then earn more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in medical and surgical disciplines.
The demand for PAs in the healthcare work force is currently very high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that PA employment will grow 31% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than average for all occupations. Three quarters of PAs receive multiple job offers upon graduation.
- For more information about the PA profession, please visit the “What is a PA?” page.
AAPA’s Military Constituent Organizations
AAPA’s Constituent Organizations (COs) are independent organizations affiliated with AAPA. They provide their members with information about AAPA and the PA profession, networking opportunities, and career resources. Veterans may be able to join a CO as Pre-PA members. Below are COs that are relevant to veterans:
- Applying to PA school requires multiple pre-requisites, including college coursework and hands-on healthcare experience. Visit AAPA’s Become a PA page for more information about what is needed prior to PA school application.
- If you would like to shadow a PA, consider contacting your local state chapter of PAs. See the full list of state chapters.
- To practice as a PA, you must attend an accredited PA program. See the full list of accredited PA programs on the ARC-PA
- Some PA programs have specific resources, staff, and funding just for veterans at the PA program. Inquire with PA programs that you are interested in applying to what they offer veterans.
- PAEA has an online program directory. This directory has information about tuition, GPA requirements, required standardized test, and healthcare experience for each PA program.
- PAEA also has a PA Education for Veterans page. This page is an additional educational resource for veterans hoping to gain entrance to a PA program.
- There are multiple scholarships available to veterans pursuing the PA profession. This tab will be updated with any new scholarships as they become available.
- Veterans Caucus scholarship
- S. Department of Veterans Affairs scholarship
- Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships
- Service to School
- Society of Army Physician Assistants: The Captain Sean P. Grimes Physician Assistant Education Scholarship Award
- Ron Pace Memorial Scholarship (in conjunction with the Florida Academy of PAs)
- For Veterans and children of veterans living in Florida
- Awarded to a Florida-based student who is a veteran or the child/dependent of a veteran. Named in memory of Ron Pace, a Florida Academy of PAs past president and AAPA Outstanding PA of the Year Award recipient, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.
AAPA Membership Options
Become a Pre-PA member! Join AAPA as a Pre-PA member and get exclusive discounts on helpful tools to help you with your PA school application. Plus, we’ve got resources to help you learn more about the PA profession, and stay ahead of the curve on deadlines, interviews, and more.
Visit the Pre-PA membership page.