Posted on Nov 21, 2013
SrA Donald Dexter
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I was a medic in the Air Force. That is where I first encountered physician Assistants. After working with them, I began to learn the full scope of practice and the quality care they provided to our troops, that I went on to become one myself.
I thank the military for this great career field that they created, for the over qualified medics from Vietnam era. It has allowed be to utilize my military taught skills, and to treat patients with respect, dignity, and compassion.
Posted in these groups: 999fe279 Medic
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SPC Retired
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Edited 8 y ago
I have a great deal of respect for these professions as I have had the unfortunate need for their services at one time or another. At our VA we have primary care (PC) professionals that consist of MD, NP, and PA's and we have a need for them all and more.

I would say the the best personal care that I had from an assigned PC was the Nurse Practitioner (NP) even over and above the MD staff I have had. She was professional, caring, and dedicated to her patients to the extent that she went beyond her scope of duty to make sure her patients received the care they needed. Within the VA that can mean dealing with the heavy duty administration and of course the politics, both within and the external fallout from the politicians. Maybe it was because she worked in the trauma center when she was in the military.

There is a movement in place, if it hasn't already passed, that the entry level for the NP must have a Doctorate degree. Current NP's will be grandfathered.

It all comes down to the individual and what they put into their job. It doesn't matter what the career, from the grave digger to the brain surgeon, you have those that work in the realm of excellence and then you have the good, bad, and ugly.




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MAJ Joseph Parker
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Most line units used to have a PA, and they were all great. As an Infantry unit CDR, the PA would quickly and quietly patch me up and keep me going without insisting on a profile, bed rest, etc. On the other hand, he kept the troops patched up well, too; and at their jobs; while keeping me very well informed of how they were really holding up as I pushed them to their limits during operations. One PA even stitched up my spouse's finger when she cut it at the Bn Cdr's house during an officer's social event. There may be some bad PAs out there, but I never met one!


Bravo, SrA Dexter! You are one of an honored lineage!

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SFC Combat Support Team Senior Enlisted Leader
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I love having an Army PA in our TRADOC unit. Before she came here, Soldiers used to take advantage of kind, naive Air Force docs/nurses who would issue them a breathe-at-own-pace profile for anything. Our PA can sniff out BS--from students OR cadre--triages them before they can waste the Air Force clinic's time, streamlines our PHA process, and ensures that fit-for-duty and MEBs are completed in a timely fashion. The serial narcotic/profile/quarters-seekers probably like her less than I do.
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