Veterans Day letter from AAPA President Gail Curtis

November 10, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

As we pause to celebrate Veterans Day, on behalf of AAPA’s Board of Directors, I would like to recognize and thank our veteran and active-duty service members. So many men and women – including my father who served in the Navy during World War II – have stepped forward when called, have served and protected our nation and have given selflessly of themselves to establish and defend the freedoms which we enjoy today. We are forever indebted and deeply grateful.

PAs owe a particular debt of gratitude to the military community, where our roots are so intricately intertwined. In 1965, at Duke University, Dr. Eugene A. Stead Jr. recognized the shortage of primary care physicians and tapped four Navy Hospital Corpsmen to form the first class of PAs. Their medical training and experience on the battlefield would prove fortuitous for a nascent profession that today is over 115,500 strong. Fifty years later, that trailblazing program has changed the face of modern medicine in the United States. PAs continue to advance healthcare as we disassemble practice barriers at both the federal and state levels. And we continue to establish ourselves as critical members of the healthcare team– not only in primary care, but in every medical and surgical specialty and subspecialty, and in every clinical setting.

As we look forward to the next 50 years for this remarkable profession, we will continue to honor our military heritage and our proud tradition of PAs in the armed forces.

Please join me today in honoring our veteran and active-duty PAs for their service to the nation and to the profession. Thank you for your service!

Gail Curtis, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
AAPA President and Chair of the Board