PAs and PA Students Celebrate Profession During PA Week

2018 PA Week a Rousing Success

October 17, 2018

By Kate Maloney

Every year from October 6-12, we celebrate National PA Week, which recognizes the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. This year, PAs and PA students around the country raised awareness of their profession and celebrated their career. PAs and PA students declared their PA pride on social media, shared their enthusiasm with their employers, and educated the public on everything a PA can do. The success of PA Week rests entirely on the PA community. Thank you to everyone who participated; we were blown away by your enthusiasm. Here are some of the highlights.


PAs on the Plaza

PAs and PA students with Today Show host, Hoda Kotb

On Monday, October 8, more than 300 PAs and PA students from 19 PA programs descended upon Rockefeller Center and NBC’s Today Show for the annual PAs on the Plaza event. AAPA President and Chair of the Board Jonathan E. Sobel, DMSc, MBA, PA-C, DFAAPA, FAPACVS, and Student Academy President Stephen Lewia, PA-C, were in attendance, along with many others from around the country. Today Show hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, recognized all of the PAs on the Plaza attendees during the broadcast. “They are literally taking over the place!” Kotb exclaimed, and Guthrie echoed: “These PAs have been here all morning; they’re awesome!”

Bryant University, located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, has attended PAs on the Plaza for the last four years. Students and faculty set out around midnight to carpool to New York City for the morning event, then head back to campus for afternoon classes. Jay Amrien, MPAS, PA-C, Bryant University’s program director, feels strongly that students should advocate for the PA profession. “PAs on the Plaza is an opportunity to display PAs, PA issues, and PA abilities to the public,” he says. “It is my belief if students take on the advocacy cause early, they will continue to advance the PA profession.”

PA Student Service Week

During PA Week 2018, PA students across the nation gave their time and talents to help others and make a positive impact in their communities. PA programs participated in everything from canned food drives to charity runs and many of them even provided free health services to community members. More than 24 PA programs participated, and we hope for more in 2019!

Screenshot of Jim Gaffigan tweetNoteworthy Shoutouts

Two high-profile PA supporters shouted out this incredible profession during PA Week. ZDoggMD knows how important PAs are, and how helpful they are to his own team practice. ZDogg shared a special video shoutout to the entire PA community on his social media channels, and it’s been viewed over 700,000 times!

Additionally, comedian Jim Gaffigan has had positive PA experiences. He tweeted his support of PA Week and one special PA to his three million followers.

Talk about raising PA awareness!

Contest Participation

This year, AAPA hosted a PA Week Video Contest, and we appreciated the number and quality of the submissions. Thank you to all who took the time to create and edit videos that celebrated the profession! Texas Tech’s “Acing All Our Tests” took the top prize; watch the video now, and start brainstorming for next year!

Touro Loves PAs picture

We also hosted an Instagram Photo Challenge, sponsored by Medelita. Over 300 PAs, PA students, and PA programs participated by posting photos with the daily theme, and were eligible to win daily prizes. Touro University California Joint Masters of Physician Assistant Studies and Masters of Public Health Program won the contest’s grand prize by participating in the Instagram Photo Challenge each day.

PAs in the News

In addition to attending PAs on the Plaza, Jonathan Sobel participated in a radio media tour to raise awareness of the PA profession. He did 10 taped interviews with radio stations around the country, including National NBC. The first interview aired Oct. 9 in Los Angeles, California, and the rest will follow in the coming weeks. In some cases, the interviews have also resulted in online media stories—such as these from Iowa and Nebraska. All in all, the radio media tour has the potential to reach an audience of almost 11 million listeners.

Your PA Can ad

This PA Week, AAPA also partnered with NCCPA to raise public awareness of the PA profession by funding national PA-positive advertisements. To kick off this exciting initiative, a half-page Your PA Can Handle It advertisement ran in USA Today, as well as 60 additional newspapers in the USA Today Network. Stay tuned! More ads will be appearing in various outlets into 2019, and include a mix of video, print, radio, and digital components.

Thank you again to all the PAs, PA students, pre-PAs, and PA supporters who participated in this year’s PA Week. We can’t wait for PA Week 2019!

Kate Maloney is AAPA’s senior manager of corporate communications. Contact her at [email protected]

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