History is the essence of innumerable biographies.

~ Thomas Carlyle

The following biographies highlight the men and women who over time have contributed to the establishment, growth and development of the physician assistant profession. These are individuals whose contributions have helped shape the way physician assistants are educated, utilized, organized, evaluated, promoted and integrated into the American Health Care System and throughout the world.

To appear in this biographical section, a nominee must have made a contribution or contributions to the physician assistant profession judged to be significant in a way that is unique, pioneering or exemplary. The nature of those contributions may include, but need not be limited to, the following:

  • Helped develop the educational, accreditation, legal and certification framework that is unique to the PA profession
  • Contributed significant time, labor and leadership to a national organization thus enabling that organization to serve the best interest of PAs, PA educators and students
  • Authored books or articles that added significantly to the body of published works on physician assistants and the delivery of health care by teams
  • Recognized by peers in the health professions as one who has provided exemplary clinical, community and humanitarian service through special recognition awards and published acknowledgments
  • Served on health policy making bodies, work force study groups, international health alliances and health-related agencies to share with others knowledge about the PA profession
  • Made significant contributions to the education and mentoring of PA students and the continuing education and evaluation of graduate physician assistants
  • Pioneered the development of a new field for physician assistants in a health care specialty or practice setting

Please submit the following documentation to the PAHx for consideration: a CV or resume, or a completed Biographical Sketch Form. Please Contact us us should you have an individual who you believe should be recognized by the Society.


Donald Pedersen, PhD, PA

Dr. Pedersen has been involved with Utah Physician Assistant Program (UPAP) since 1979, initially serving as Academic Coordinator. He was the Program Director from 1989 to 2010 after attaining a faculty appointment in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine (DFPM) in the University of Utah School

Ballweg, Ruth

Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C Emeritus (1944 - ) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest's Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine.  She was one of the first formally-trained physician assistants in southern Oregon. In addition, Ms. Ballweg was the editor and contributor to the first American textbook written on PA training, now in its fif...

Krishna Gurung

Krishna Gurung (1947-2020) was a humanitarian in every sense of the word. Krishna Gurung was a Nepalese US trained PA and jazz musician. He made an invaluable contribution to advancing medicine and PA analogues


Kathy Pedersen, PA-C, MPAS

Ms. Pedersen's intent is to raise visibility of the physician assistant profession, and to innovate with academia and other audiences to identify and consider PA-like providers in settings around the world with the goal of reducing inequity and improving health access. Her academic and c