Breaking News
  • We are now accepting applications for our full-term Trustee and Student Trustee positions! See below for more information!


Richard Dehn, MPA, PA-C

X icon

Richard Dehn is a nationally recognized physician assistant scholar and educator with over 100 published peer-reviewed journal articles. He has written many book chapters and is co-author of Clinical Procedures for Physician Assistants. He has served as a peer reviewer for PA publications and other health-related journals. His presentations and workshops at national meetings have focused on the need for PAs to perform meaningful research and scholarly work. He has been a consultant for institutions planning to established PA programs and has taught others how to design effective teaching and evaluation methodologies. Throughout his career, Dehn has mentored young faculty, reviewed their scholarly work and taught them how to write for publication. As a national PA leader, he has served on the research committees of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In addition, he has also been a site visitor for the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). He was President of the PA History Society (2007-2008). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA) where he is the research editor. He currently chairs the PAEA Research Council (now re-named ResearchMAC) and the AAPA/PAEA Research Fellowship Advisory Committee.

Dehn received a BA in history from the University of Iowa in 1973 and a BS in medicine in 1976 from the University of Iowa College of Medicine PA Program. He earned a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree in Administrative Organization and Management in 1991 from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, CA. After becoming a PA, he practiced in a variety of settings including one that provided medical services to Hispanic migrant farm workers and their families in Iowa. He has over thirty years of clinical experience as a PA in family medicine, where he has primarily practiced in urban and rural underserved communities and long advocated for the provision of primary care services in underserved populations. His academic career began in 1979 when he joined the faculty of the UC-Davis FNP/PA Program Merced satellite and worked as a PA in the UC-Davis Merced Family Practice Residency Clinic. Most of the patients that he saw were from rural, medically disadvantaged communities. He left UC-Davis In 1993 to become the Assistant Director of the University of Iowa PA Program. From 2008-2010 he was the program director of the UC-Davis FNP/PA Program located in Sacramento, CA. In 2010 he became the Founding Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and Professor, College of Health and Human Services, Northern Arizona University (NAU), Flagstaff, AZ and Program Director, NAU PA Program, Phoenix Biomedical Campus, Phoenix, AZ. In 2015 he was also appointed Professor of Practice in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Awards received by Dehn include the American Academy of Physician Assistants Paragon Publishing Award (2001), the Association of PA Programs Research Achievement Award (2003), and the Iowa PA Society “PA of the Year” award (2006). He was recognized as Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA in 2008.

Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Reginald Carter with the assistance of Mr. Dehn and submitted to the Society in May 2020. Information for this biography was extracted from online biographical information provided by Northern Arizona University at and Mr. Dehn’s curriculum vitae. Portrait photograph courtesy of NAU and Mr. Dehn; other photographs courtesy of Mr. Dehn and the PA History Society. For additional Information see Richard Dehn’s oral history by clicking here.

When using information from this biography, please provide the proper citation as described within the PA History Society Terms of Use.