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Milton Randolph “Randy” Bundschu, Jr., PA-C, DFAAPA

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Milton Randolph “Randy” Bundschu, Jr., PA-C, is a 1978 graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine PA Program. Shortly after graduating, he became very involved in the Georgia Association of PAs (GAPA), including serving as a delegate for many years. Ultimately, he rose through the House Officer ranks becoming Speaker of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) House of Delegates. Following his time as Speaker, he served as Secretary of the AAPA Board of Directors.

Bundschu was born in Memphis, and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee until moving to Florida as a teenager. He began his college career at Oxford College of Emory University, later graduating from the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. While attending USF, he obtained his EMT certification during a summer break and began working for a private ambulance service in St. Petersburg, FL. One of his shift partners had been accepted to PA school. Bundschu learned more about the profession from him and a couple of PA students that he fortuitously met while volunteering at a free clinic in the area. While working as an ER Tech, he then heard from former college classmates (from both Emory and USF) who were attending Emory Dental School that they were taking classes with the students in this “new program”. They were impressed with those students and encouraged him to “look into it”. He “looked into it”; applying to, and then graduating in the sixth class at the Emory School of Medicine PA Program in 1978.

After graduation, Bundschu was one of the first PAs at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA, working with a pioneering adult vascular surgeon, Dr. J. Harold Harrison. He worked with Dr. Harrison for 4 years before moving to pediatric, cardiac surgery and critical care at Egleston Children’s Hospital and the Emory Clinic where he remained for 34 years, working in one of the top 5 pediatric, cardiac centers in the country.

After many years of full-time clinical practice and serving as a guest lecturer, Bundschu joined the full-time faculty of the Emory PA Program, serving as Associate Program Director and Director of Admissions in 1995. He was appointed as an Instructor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Bundschu continued part-time in clinical practice, working in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Upon leaving the Emory PA Program, Bundschu returned to his clinical and administrative position in the CICU at Egleston in 2001 but remained actively involved in the PA Program until his retirement.

Bundschu has been a GAPA and AAPA member since his first year as a PA student at Emory in 1977. What really got his attention and began his professional involvement in earnest was when during his second year of PA school (in 1978), the Medical Association of Georgia’s House of Delegates decided that the PA “trial project” should be ended and recommended that the then two PA training programs in Georgia should be closed and no new PAs should be licensed in the state. Bundschu attended his first GAPA Board meeting as a guest and made the mistake – or had the good fortune – of sitting next to Alan Sams, the founding president of the GAPA and a subsequent GAPA Circle of Honor recipient. Alan introduced him to two other icons of the Georgia Academy, Marshall Sinback and Ed Gaile. Thus, began Bundschu’s professional involvement in GAPA. Over the years, he has been a member or chairperson of many of the GAPA committees, including Membership, Publications, Conference Planning, Governmental Affairs, and Reimbursement. Bundschu was elected as the Secretary of the GAPA in 1982, and then President in 1984, in the tenth year of the GAPA’s existence. Remembering the Medical Association of Georgia’s recent lack of support, he wanted to make sure that he was not the LAST GAPA president. In fact, he was the last PA that solely represented the GAPA as THE registered PA lobbyist before they hired a full-time professional firm. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, today there are over 2000 PAs and 10 PA Programs in the state.

Given his involvement in GAPA, Bundschu began representing the state in the AAPA House of Delegates. He has been a delegate or alternate delegate to the AAPA HOD for a total of 28 years, beginning in 1982. As he developed a strong reputation in the AAPA, he was appointed to the Chapter and Member Relations Committee – serving as a member (4 years) and then chairperson (2 years). Beginning in 1990, he was elected, and re-elected as a House of Delegates officer, first as Secretary, then Vice Speaker, before becoming the Speaker of the House of Delegates and Vice President of the AAPA in 1994, and again in 1995. Bundschu then served two terms as Secretary of the AAPA Board of Directors. Due to his involvement, the AAPA House of Delegates conferred upon Bundschu its Outstanding Service Award in 1996. Bundschu is also a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA.

One of Bundschu’s passions was the South Georgia Farmworker Health Project, sponsored by the Emory School of Medicine’s PA program. It annually provides free health care to more than 2,000 farmworkers and their families who work in Georgia’s fruit and vegetable industry. Students in their clinical year of the PA program work at the outdoor clinics on farms in southern Georgia. The pop-up field clinics meet a critical public health need while giving the multidisciplinary clinical teams experience in treating a wide range of conditions.  During the first two years of the project, Bundschu held down the fort at the PA program in Emory while the program director went to South Georgia to work on the Project. Subsequently he participated each year for the next 18 years; the first four years as a faculty member, and then the remaining 14 years as a volunteer.  Bundschu used his personal vacation time to continue volunteering while working full time at Egleston. He usually participated in the entire two-week project, occasionally having to commute the 4 hours back to Atlanta in the middle of the project to cover a couple of shifts in the CICU before returning to complete it.

Bundschu is a Lifetime Member of both AAPA and GAPA. He has been honored both by GAPA (1992) and the Emory PA Program (2002, 2015) as the Outstanding PA of the Year, and was inducted into GAPAs Circle of Honor (2011).

Although PA school and his work at Emory and Egelston kept Bundschu and his wife in Atlanta, they both hoped to one day move back to their home state of Florida. Now that they have retired, they call Florida home. But Bundschu is well known amongst his PA colleagues for traveling the nation full-time in a small RV truck camper in retirement with Susan, his wife of 47 years.

Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by PA History Society staff with the assistance of Randy Bundschu and Bill Kohlhepp. It was submitted to the Society in May 2024. Photographs are the courtesy of Mr. Bundschu and the PA History Society’s AAPA Photograph Collection.

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