Appointed by Governor James B. Hunt, Wayne VonSeggen became the first physician assistant to serve on the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) from November 1, 1994 to October 31, 2000. He served as the president of the NCMB during his final year 1999-2000; the first physician assistant to hold this prestigious office. He was the delegate to the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) House of Delegates in 1999 and 2000. In 2002, he was appointed by the FSMB as their representative on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
VonSeggen recalls in an interview that his being a PA on the NCMB “served as a stimulus for creating regulations which included PAs when appropriate, and boosted the professional presence of the physician assistant in the NC medical regulatory community, NC Medical Society, and with Pharmacy, Nursing, and EMS.” In the closing weeks of his term as president of the NCMB, the NCMB held hearings and worked to negotiate a scope of practice struggle between ophthalmologists and optometrists. He goes on to say in the interview that “It was my honor to have been elected by my fellow Medical Board members to serve as Vice President and finally as President of the North Carolina Medical Board. For the physician assistant profession, that represented the first time a physician assistant served as President of an allopathic state medical regulatory board in the United States.”1
VonSeggen was born near Farmington, Iowa in 1949. He received his undergraduate degree from Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, IL and completed the Wake Forest University Physician Assistant Program, Winston-Salem, NC in 1977. He has worked as a physician assistant (PA) in occupational medicine at RJR Medical Department, PrimeCare Family Medicine, and at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. He retired from clinical practice in 2013.
He became a member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants when he was a student in 1975 and 1976. His service to the NCAPA includes Public Education Chairman, Newsletter Editor, Board of Directors member and president. He is one of three cofounders of the Piedmont Association of PAs in North Carolina and in 2012 was asked by the NCMB to be a member of the Compliance Committee of NC Physicians Health Program.
VonSeggen received the NCAPA President’s Recognition Award in 1981 and 1985. In 2001 he received the AAPA Paragon Award for Outstanding Physician Assistant of the Year. He authored and co-authored three state-wide surveys of the PA profession (1984, 1987, and 1993), which were published in the North Carolina Medical Journal.
Mr. VonSeggen and his wife, Sharon, were married in 1970 and moved to North Carolina in 1975 so he could attend the Wake Forest PA Program. They have two sons, and two grandchildren. He says that North Carolina and the PA profession have been a true adventure and very rewarding in so many ways. VonSeggen has been a staunch alumni supporter of the Wake Forest PA Program/Studies, and he is proud of the remarkable contributions that PAs are making in North Carolina, the nation and around the world. His favorite quote as seen in the NCAPA home office: “The Physician Assistant profession: rooted in North Carolina, America’s gift to the world.”
1-VonSeggen, W. and NCCPA. Service on the NC Medical Board: Reflections of a PA. Appeared in NCAPA Newsletter – The Pulse | October 2015. Available at http://ncapa.org/the-pulse-october-2015/.
Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Reginald Carter with the assistance of Mr. VonSeggen and submitted to the Society on July 15, 2016. Portrait photograph is courtesy of Mr. VonSeggen. The banner photograph is from AAPA photographic collection, Physician Assistant History Society, Johns Creek, GA. It features the Federation of State Medical Board Meeting with Wayne VonSeggen in the back row, left.