National Physician Assistant Day

National Physician Assistant Day is a holiday that is observed on October 6th and kicks off National Physician Assistant Week. This is a holiday to remember the assistants who quietly work in the background as doctors take all of the credit for what they do. Physician assistants serve a vital role in a wide variety of medical settings and help to improve patient’s quality of care.

They perform a number of functions in doctor’s offices and these duties include performing medical examinations, taking medical histories, and ordering specific diagnostic tests. They also work closely with a patient’s primary physician to contribute their expertise to their overall care. And this is why they’re finally being honored with their own holiday.

The History Of National Physician Assistant Day

This holiday was created on October 6th, 1987. Why on this date? That’s because this date was the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of personal assistants from the Duke University PA Program. This date also happens to be the birthday of Eugene A. Stead — the man who created this profession.

Some Quick Facts About Physician Assistants (PA)

Below are a few quick facts that we rounded up for everyone interested in learning more about this profession or what they do. We think people observing National Physician Assistant Day will find the following factoids interesting.

  • There are over 110,000 physician assistants working in the United States today.
  • Most PAs are capable of prescribing medicine.
  • Physician assistants can also order advanced imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans.
  • Physician assistants can go through 8 years of post-high school education.
  • Personal assistants can assist with surgeries.

Observing National Physician Assistant Day

On this day, as well as all throughout National Physician Assistant Week, people can observe this holiday by giving thanks to a physician’s assistant. This can be done in person or through social media using the hashtag #NationalPhysicianAssistantDay or #NationalPhysicianAssistantWeek.

People can also take the time to learn more about this profession or to pursue a career as a physician assistant if they are just coming out of high school. Another way to celebrate this holiday is to ask a PA to give a speech at a local student education or job fair.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 6 Sunday
Next year (2025)
October 6 Monday
Last year (2023)
October 6 Friday
Work & Occupation