February 21, 2020
In Memorium: Richard A. Smith, MD
March 15, 2017
Richard A. Smith, MD, MPH, a global health leader, founding father of the PA profession, and creator of the
University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA program, passed away at his home in Hawaii on March 10. He was 84.
Smith achieved numerous milestones during his lifetime. He served as deputy director of the Peace Corps’ Medical Program; director of HHS’s Office of Planning for International Health; and director of operations for the U.S. Public Health Service, where he was given the task of desegregating all hospitals in the U.S.
He saw MEDEX as a pathway for medically trained veterans to reenter civilian life as health practitioners. With help from colleagues, MEDEX Class 1 was established in 1969. After devoting four years to launch and development, he took the MEDEX training program global.
Today, thousands of PAs follow in his model to “multiply my hands.”
Read the full obituary in MEDEX Magazine. There is a place to add your own memorial message at the bottom of the story using your Facebook login.
Photos courtesy of the UW MEDEX PA program