Do you know a physician assistant? Take time to recognize them

Help celebrate PA Week Oct. 6-12; use the hashtag #PAWeek on social media

Did you know there are 150 physician assistants practicing at OHSU? And each year, the OHSU PA Program graduates more than 40 physician assistants to join the workforce. National Physician Assistant Week is a time to recognize the contributions physician assistants make to the medical community and to increase awareness about PA practice.

“Physician assistants are indispensable partners in patient care,” said Sharon Anderson, M.D., dean, OHSU School of Medicine. “As a clinician, it’s a privilege to work alongside them, and as a dean, it’s fulfilling to know the PA leaders of tomorrow are being trained right here at OHSU.”

Here are a few fast features about PA students and faculty members at OHSU: 

The Oregon Food Bank benefited from volunteer efforts from PA students in the Class of 2021, OHSU faculty and Pacific University students.

The PA Program will have a PA Week event in the Robertson Life Sciences Building atrium on Tuesday, October 8, from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by and say hello!

Students are active in the community throughout the year. OHSU PA students in the Class of 2021 and faculty partnered with students at Pacific University to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank for PA Week (pictured, left). Still others volunteered at the Portland Marathon on Oct. 6 (pictured, below).

Raquel Padilla Moore, M.P.H., of the PA Class of 2020, is one of 14 students nationwide selected as a health policy fellow by the Physician Assistant Education Association. She participated in a seminar in Washington, D.C., to bolster her advocacy skills, develop appreciation for the value of PA leadership, and facilitate meaningful engagement with elected representatives.

A new PA Program director has been named: Christopher Sim will join OHSU in January, from MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Meet the PA Class of 2021

PA students from the Class of 2021 volunteered at the Portland Marathon Oct. 6.

The OHSU PA Class of 2021 began their studies June 24 and are in their second quarter of the 26-month program. This group of 43 future health care professionals was chosen out of a highly competitive applicant pool of 1,694 applicants. By the numbers:

  • 63% Oregon/Oregon ties
  • 26% Underrepresented in medicine (self-identify as Black or African American, Hispanic, Native American or Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander)
  • 65% Female
  • 33% Male
  • 2% NonBinary
  • 53% Disadvantaged background (First Generation – 30%)
  • 6% Rural background
  • 5% Veteran
  • 28.8 Average age

PAs are clinician leaders

Approximately 150 physician assistants are members of the OHSU Practice Plan – a group of 2,000 clinicians making up the largest organized clinical practice in Oregon. They work across specialties in the hospital, intensive care units, outpatient clinics, operating rooms, and in clinical research areas. They are also leaders who help make decisions about clinical strategy and practice issues.

This year, the OPP sponsored a project focused on improving the experience of advanced practice providers – including PAs – who work in the OHSU system. One aspect of this project is the APP Lead Council, members of which will serve as a catalyst for engagement, integration, communication and advancement among all APPs in the OHSU health system.

Juliana Bernstein, M.P.A.S., PA-C

“It’s an exciting time to be a PA,” said Juliana Bernstein, M.P.A.S., PA-C, co-chair, APP Lead Council and assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. “OHSU is hiring APPs at a faster rate than physicians, and this gives us opportunities to create standards and systems that support our career trajectories.”

Bernstein received the Oregon Medical Association’s PA-Citizen award in 2019. This award is given out annually to an individual that exemplifies outstanding community service and the highest values of patient-centered, team-based medical practice.

Top image: The PA Class of 2021 celebrates PA Week 2019