Dear Physician Assistants throughout the country,
In the 1960s, internist Dr. Eugene Stead – one of the true icons and visionaries of American medicine – developed the Physician Assistant concept and founded the first program at Duke University School of Medicine. As an undergraduate pre-med and subsequently a medical student at Duke, I directly observed the maturation of this program and have always had tremendous admiration and respect for the contributions of PAs in the delivery of high-quality health care in this country.
It is true that surgical PAs represent only a portion of our national PA profession, and vascular surgical PAs an even smaller group, including some who are affiliate members of the Society for Vascular Surgery. However, it is indeed a privilege for me as SVS president to convey our congratulations during the recent week of celebration – National PA Week – and the admiration of our organization and our members to our vascular PAs, and in fact all PAs for all they do for our patients every day of the year.
In this period of a rapidly evolving health care system in this country, the delivery of health care has truly become a “team sport.” In my institution, our PAs play a vital and indispensable role on our vascular health care team. My PAs make me want to come to work every day. They epitomize the utmost examples of professionalism, compassion, competence and intelligence in the clinical evaluation of our patients, and in their medical, endovascular and surgical care. Indeed in many cases our patients often feel a closer bond to our PAs than to their surgeons! I can think of no more accurate and appropriate compliment for their dedicated contributions.
It is a privilege on behalf of our more than 5,300 members to express my congratulations to our vascular PAs, and to all PAs, for their dedicated service during their week of recognition.
Bruce A. Perler, M.D.
President, Society for Vascular Surgery