Gannon University Celebrates National Physicians Assistant Week

Posted: October 6, 2015

National P.A. Week, from Oct. 6-12, annually celebrates America's more than 100,000 certified physician assistants and their contributions to the nation's health.

The Gannon University Student Physician Assistant Society (GUSPAS) is celebrating by doing what physician assistants do: helping to bring better health to the communities they serve.

All week long, the organization will collaborate with Catholic Relief Services to help increase awareness about international issues, such as the civil war in Syria. During P.A. Week, GUSPAS members will staff a table in Gannon's Waldron Campus Center from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. where interested persons can sign a solidarity banner and write messages, prayers, or thoughts on white paper bags that will be made into into luminaries to line AJ's Way, between Seventh and Eighth streets, and the entrance to the Morosky Academic Center, 150 W. 10th St.

On October 6 the students will pass out stress relief balls on AJ's way, and GUSPAS members will be out in force for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 10 at 10:30 a.m. in Erie's Perry Square.

During the P.A.st year, first-year P.A. students rendered 340 hours of volunteer service in the community while junior P.A. students tallied 464 hours of volunteer service.

Gannon University's five-year direct-entry master's degree program is the only fully accredited program in northwest Pennsylvania. Graduates have achieved a 98 percent ultimate pass rate on the on the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) for the past five years and a 99 percent ultimate pass rate for the past 15 years. The first-time pass rate for the class of 2015 was 93 percent.

Physician assistant was named the most promising job of 2015 by Forbes.com, and last week the website Glassdoor.com cited physician assistants as having "the best job in America right now based on the number of job openings, earning potential and career opportunities." According to Glassdoor's analysis, there are more than 45,000 job openings for physician assistants in the U.S. Jobs in the profession have grown 36 percent between 2009 and 2014.