Volume 14 - Issue 10 - October 2006

It is no wonder that after the Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law on Jul. 30, 1965, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, that a massive expansion in health care ensued and that physician assistants (PAs) came into existence. In 1965 at Duke University, Eugene A. Stead Jr., M.D., established the first physician assistant program. As of 2005, there were more than 65,000 PAs in practice and 134 PA programs in operation.1,2,3 In addition, more than 1,000 PAs worked in dermatology as of 2002, according to the American Academy of Physician Assistants —