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.



Julie Theriault

Theriault shares how she became a PA and president of AAPA and also offers advice to those considering the PA profession as a career.

James McGraw

McGraw talks about his involvement and accomplishments with the SAAAPA, AAPA, NCCPA and the LBGT Caucus.

Ron Garcia-Herrera

Garcia-Herrera talks about what drew him to the physician assistant profession and his part in the development of the PAs for Latino Health Caucus.

Mark Behar

Behar talks about his involvement in the early days of AAPA LBGT Caucus, his work with the HIV epidemic, and how he became one of the first to talk about HIV on TV.


Karen Newell >

Karen Newell, MMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, is a retired faculty member from Emory University's PA Program. Ms. Newell talks about working in emergency medicine and surgery during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and how the AAPA LGBT Caucus was a support during those times. She also shares how the PA profession helped her balance all of her passions: music, caring for others, and educating.

Ron Handlos >

Ron Handlos served in the US Army as a medic. After he was honorably discharged he entered the first class of the University of Utah MEDEX PA Program. He became one of the first PAs to practice in Montana and was instrumental is advocating for PA practice legislation in the state.

Gino Gianola >

Gino Gianola recounts his time in the military, how he joined the MEDEX program, his work with the NIH during the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and how he returned to MEDEX as an instructor.

Kenneth Harbert >

Kenneth Harbert, PhD, MHA, PA-C Emeritus, talks about his involvement in establishing the PA profession in the Netherlands and helping form the first PA programs in the country.


Diane Bruessow

Bruessow shares how she learned about the PA profession and her first experience serving as a PA to help underserved populations.

Greg Thomas

Thomas shares why he decided to become a PA and his thoughts on the challenges the PA profession will face in the future.

Lawrence "Mac" Detmer

Detmer talks about his personal history and his involvement with the beginnings of the accreditation process of PA programs.

Lombardo speaks on his experience of leadership in all four of the main PA organizations, what makes him proud of the profession, and his personal accomplishments.

Paul Lombardo


Patrick Killeen>

Killeen talks about his time as presidents of SAAAPA and AAPA, the history of and his involvement with the AAPA LBGT Caucus, the Peter Nyquist Student Writing Award, and being present during the signing of the Affordable Care Act.

Grace Landel>

Landel talks about how she became interested in the PA profession, her early years as a PA, working at an HIV clinic in the early 80s, and her involvement in programs to get health care to underserved populations.

Eric Schuman>

Schuman shares his experiences as an early PA, memorable moments in his practice, his work as editor of JAAPA, and his numerous awards and recognitions.

Tonia Poteat>

Poteat shares how she became a PA, how she became interested in working with HIV patients, her advice for volunteer opportunities, and her advice for new PAs.

Travis Sherer>

Sherer talks about being president of the AAPA LBGT Caucus, being the first PA member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), working in HIV clinics, and his volunteer work in Africa which led him to become a PA.

Oral History Collections

Medics and Corpsmen>

This project was originally in collaboration with the Maine Military Museum. This is a collection of interviews with PAs who began their health practitioner careers as either military medics or corpsmen.

The PA Profession in the Netherlands>

This series interviews those who helped start and shape the PA profession in the Netherlands.

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