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Date Published: August 16, 2023

Making History by Making a Difference: Ted Ruback

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Ted J. Ruback, MS, PA-C Emeritus, has been a PA for more than 40 years. His PA career has included nearly 20 years of clinical practice in pediatrics before moving on to an academic career, first as member of the faculty of the Emory PA Program and then as Founding Director of the PA program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Throughout his PA career, Ruback has consistently provided service to the PA profession nationally and within his current home state of Oregon.

In 1994, Ted was recruited to OHSU to develop and serve as the founding director of the first PA program in the state. Under Ruback’s leadership, within the first seven years of the program’s development, the OHSU PA Program was recognized as among the top ten PA programs in the country by US News & World Reports. Ruback served as director and head of the OHSU School of Medicine, Division of PA Education for 22 years before retiring from the program in August 2016. He then served a year on special assignment to the provost, advising her on the potential expansion of health care education at OHSU. Upon his retirement a year later, Ruback was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the President of OHSU and was named Associate Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine.

Ruback’s contributions nationally began with service as a member of the AAPA’s Education Council in 1995. He served as a member of the Council for four years, two of which he served as Chair. During that time, he helped advocate for adoption of the master’s degree as the entry level degree for the profession. He served four years as a member of the Board of Directors of the PA Education Association (PAEA), including as president in 2010. His service to PAEA included spearheading the initial concept of a centralized application process for PA admissions. He was instrumental in the initial design and implementation of the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and served for 10 years as a member of the CASPA Advisory Committee, including 6 years as chair. The CASPA program has prospered since its beginning and has become an integral component of the PA profession. It continues to serve as an important revenue stream for PAEA.

To learn more about Ted Ruback, please visit his biography page.

The History Society was also able to have an oral history interview with Mr. Ruback in 2017. Please click here to view it.