Oral Histories

The Oral History Collection contains audiotapes, videos and DVDs with corresponding transcripts produced either by the Society or by others and then gifted to the Society. Holdings from this collection have been digitized and placed in the Society’s digital archival collection using PastPerfect™ software.

While there is no substitute for original correspondence and other primary source materials, interviews help us understand better the context in which decisions were made, offer fresh insights, and suggest directions for further research. The Society continues to identify, collect, catalog and preserve existing audio and video oral histories and is conducting additional interviews with key individuals to fill in gaps of missing information.

To access the entirety of our Oral History Collection, please visit our PastPerfect website here.

If you need help searching our Oral Histories, please click here for our Search Guide.

To see more of our video Oral Histories, please visit our Vimeo account by clicking here.

Voices of the PA profession: Please use the suggestion box to recommend individuals who should be interviewed about specific events in their own or our collective professional history.



Bill Finerfrock speaks on his role in gaining Medicare reimbursement for PAs. He also talks about working with and advocating for rural health clinics.



Maryann Ramos recounts her student PA days at Touro College, fighting for PA rights in New Jersey, and working as a PA at the Pentagon during 9/11.



Dr. Vastbinder started two PA programs back in the pioneering days of the PA profession: University of Kentucky and Trevecca Nazarene University.


Reginald Carter and J. Jeffrey Heinrich discuss their personal histories, the establishment of the PA History Society.


CPT Robert Bloom >

CPT Bloom talks about his military career in the Army, first as a Calvary Scout then later on as a PA. He also talks about how he chose to become a PA, graduating from IPAP, and his current work in Germany.

MAJ Arthur Ethington >

MAJ Arthur "Art" Ethington, a retired Air Force Neurosurgical PA, talks about how he became a PA, the highlights of his career, and how he got into orthopedic neurosugery.

Estes, E. Harvey, Jr & Mau, James C. >

Conducted February 20 & 22, 2007

LTC Robert Heath, PA-C >

LTC Heath talks about what drew him to the PA career, the highlights of his PA career in the Army, and his advice for other military PAs.

George D. McCullough >

Conducted May 24, 2008

Jude Patton, PA >

Jude Patton has been advocating for transgender rights and education well before he became a PA. Once he became a PA in the early 1980s, he continued to serve underserved communities and to educate the public and medical practitioners on the transgender community's needs. Conducted June 20, 2017.

Tonia Poteat, PhD, PA-C, MPH >

Tonia Poteat has spent the majority of her career helping to fight HIV through information campaigns and setting up HIV clinics, both nationally and abroad. She has become more focused on working to prevent the spread of HIV within the LGBT communities, especially the transgender community as they have the most health disparities. Conducted June 23, 2017.

Ray Reed >

Ray Reed was enrolled in the Duke PA program in 1969, but was drafted into the military halfway through his program. In 1970 he went to medical corps training in Texas and was called on to help develop the Army's PA program at Ft. Sam Houston due to his PA student experience.


DR. Eugene A. Stead, Jr.

Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD is regarded as the founder of the physician assistant profession. He tried to meet the growing demands for patient care services at Duke University by expanding the clinical decision-making skills ...

Alfred M. Sadler, Jr.

Sadler helped establish the Physician Assistant Program at the Yale University School of Medicine. In 1972, he coauthored The Physician's Assistant: Today and Tomorrow with his ...


Tom Piemme, Carl Fasser, John Padgett, and Gino Gianola speak in a panel discussion about Physician Assistant History.Taken at the 2012 PAEA Conference.

PA History Society Presents

Father & Daughter PAs


Jacqueline Barnett, DHSc, MSHS, PA-C>

Jacqueline Barnett, DHSc, MSHS, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Dr. Barnett is the Associate Program Director of the PA program at Duke University.

Dr. James Cannon, MBA, MS, DHA, PA-C, DFAAPA>

Dr. Cannon is an instructor at Lynchburg College's PA program. He is also a retired US Coast Officer. He shares with us how he became a PA and the most satisfying aspects of his PA career. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Andrea Christine Conaway, MS, PA-C>

Ms. Conaway shares with us how her volunteer work led to her becoming a PA, why she enjoys being a PA, and her biggest challenge of being a PA. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Dennis and Mousumi Dey>

Husband and wife Dennis Dey, PA-C, MPAS, MBA, MA, MBBS, DLO, and Mousumi Dey, MPAS, PA-C, MBBS, DPH, MHA, both became physician assistants when they came to the United States from India. They talk about their lives in India, their decision to become physician assistants, and their satisfaction in their chosen professions. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C>

Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Dr. DiBaise is a professor at the PA program at AT Still University.

Patricia Dieter, MPA, PA-C>

Ms. Dieter shares with us how her mother played a part in her decision to become a PA, how she became a PA educator, and her most interesting experience as an educator at Duke University's PA program. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Murl Dotson, PA-C>

Mr. Dotson was one of the few PAs that could practice in Mississippi prior to 2000. He talks about how he was part of the effort to have Mississippi pass state legislature to allow PAs to practice. Conducted May 17, 2017.

LTC Amelia Duran-Stanton, SP, PA-C, PhD, DSc, MPAS, DFAAPA>

LTC Duran-Stanton is an Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) graduate that is currently on active duty in the US Army. She shares how she became a PA, what drove her to become interested in the profession and her specialty, and her current work. Conducted May 17, 2017.

COL Pauline Gross, SP, MPH, PA-C>

COL Gross is the second woman PA to receive Colonel rank in the Army. She shares how she became a PA, the mentors she has had throughout her career, how she joined as a teacher in the Army's PA program, and what inspires her in her work. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Ken Harbert, PhD, MHA, PA, DFAAPA>

Conducted May 16, 2016

Eugene Jones, PhD, PA-C>

Eugene "Gene" Jones, PhD, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Dr. Jones is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Texas Southwestern.

Jimmie E. Keller, MPH, PA>

A mini oral history with Jimmie E. Keller, MPH, PA, retired Army Major. Keller has been a PA since 1976 and served as the PA on the White House Medical Staff from August 1984-September 1998. He was the first US Army PA to serve as part of the White House Medical Unit (WHMU). He is a former program director for the Red Rocks Community College PA program.

Jim Kielek, CAPT, USN [RET], MPAS, PA-C>

Jim Kielek talks about what drew him to become a PA, his life as a PA in the military and as a civilian, how he inspired his son to also become a PA, and how he is a part of Navy PA history.

Allan Platt, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA>

Mr. Platt is a professor at Emory University School of Medicine's PA program. He shares how he decided to become a PA and how he became one of the PAs working for the only 24 hour ER devoted to only Sickle Cell Anemia patients at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Bret Reeves, MPAS, PA-C>

Bret Reeves, MPAS, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Mr. Reeves is the Program Director for the PA program of Trevecca Nazarene University.

Suzanne Reich, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA>

Ms. Reich is an associate professor in Wake Forest University's PA program. She has served as vice president, speaker of the house, and member at large of AAPA. She shares with us how she chose to become a PA, how she became a PA educator, and the most moving part about being a PA educator. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Ted Ruback, MS, PA-C Emeritus>

Ted Ruback, MS, PA-C Emeritus, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Mr. Ruback is the Founding Program Director of the PA program at Oregon Health & Science University.

Tony Schnuerer, PA-C>

Tony Schnuerer, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Mr. Schnuerer is the Director of Clinical Education of the PA program at Christian Brothers University.

Howard Straker, MPH, PA-C>

Mr. Straker is a teacher at George Washington University's PA Studies Program. He shares what drove him to become a PA, how he was able to combine his passion for advocacy with his profession as a PA and an educator, and his advice for future generations of PAs. Conducted May 17, 2017

Lorenzo Tarpley, Jr, PA-C, MPAS>

Mr. Tarpley shares how he started his medical career as a Navy Corpsman before becoming a PA. He talks about his early years as a PA, his most unusual patient, and his most memorable moment as a PA. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Gary Tooley, DHSc, PA-C>

Gary Tooley, DHSc, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2017 PAEA conference. Dr. Tooley is the Director of Academic Studies of the PA program at Christian Brothers University.

Judith Willis, PA, MA, DFAAPA>

Ms. Willis was the first woman president of the AAPA. She was president from 1984 to 1985. She shares how she became a PA and the issues she had to face when she became president of AAPA. Conducted May 17, 2017.

Edmund Wise, Jr, MPH, PA, DFAAPA>

Mr. Wise is a professor in the PA Studies Program at South College in Knoxville, TN. In his mini oral history, he shares with us how he became a PA, his most interesting experience as a PA (it involves George Bush Sr.), and how he helped pass PA legislation in Tennessee. Conducted May 17, 2017.


Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C>

Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C, gives a mini oral history at the 2016 PAEA conference. Mr. Scott is the Program Director of MEDEX Northwest at University of Washington's School of Medicine.