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.

FEATURED ORAL HISTORIES

KARA CARUTHERS

Caruthers shares how she became a PA, how she became a PA educator, her achievements, and her words of wisdom for PA students.

SHANI FLEMING

Fleming shares how she became a PA, her most touching experience as a PA, and, how she is looking forward to her work on the PAEA Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission.

CARL TONEY

Toney talks about how he was drafted into the Army, his time in the Vietnam War, how he decided to become a PA, and his work with the AAPA Minority Affairs Committee and then the African Heritage Caucus.

STEVEN TURNIPSEED

Turnipseed talks about his military service, his work as a medical aid in the federal prison system, how he joined the first class of MEDEX Northwest and why he's glad to be a PA.

RECENTLY ADDED HISTORIES

Reginald Carter >

In this 2022 interview, Reginald Carter, PhD, PA, shares how he became program director of the Duke University PA Program, his accomplishments as a member and president of the Association of PA Programs (now PAEA), and the history of the Physician Assistant History Society.

Sheila Mauldin >

Sheila Mauldin has worked with the National Commission on Certification of PAs since 1984. Mauldin shares how she started working for the NCCPA, her various roles, and the evolutions she has witnessed both in the organization and in the PA profession.

Kenneth Moritsugu >

Kenneth Moritsugu, MD, MPH, FACPM, Rear Admiral, USPHS (ret), shares his journey in joining the USPHS, his proud moments in the service, how he supported the PA profession, and his advice for those who want to join the US Public Health Service.

Mark Behar >

Mark Behar, PA-C, talks about how his interest in LGBT+ healthcare drew him to the PA profession, how he became an HIV/AIDS educator, the impact the AAPA LBGT Caucus had on HIV/AIDS healthcare and education, and the positive outcomes and lessons learned from the epidemic.

Peter Bergé >

Peter Bergé, JD, MPA, PA-C Emeritus, shares how he became a PA, his work in HIV/AIDS healthcare during the crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and why he attained a JD degree!

FEATURED VIDEO ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS

Lovest Alexander Jr.

Alexander shares his story of how he became a PA, how he became a PA educator, and his work on various diversity and minority boards and committees.

Murl Dotson

Dotson talks about how he was part of the effort to have Mississippi pass state legislature to allow PAs to practice.

Terry Scott

Scott talks about how growing up in the segregated south inspired him to become a PA and about working with Dr. Dick Smith.

Salahshor shares how caring for her great-grandmother led to her interest in medicine and a career as a PA.

Susan Salahshor

FEATURED AUDIO INTERVIEWS

Earl Echard>

Echard talks about working in hospitals during desegregation, being drafted into the military for Vietnam, his decision to become a PA, the founding of the Minority Affairs Committee of the AAPA, and working as a PA in rural clinics, shelters, and prisons.

Joyce Nichols>

The last recorded interview with Joyce Nichols conducted in June 2012 before she passed away the following month. Joyce was interviewed in her home by John Davis and Earl Echard.

Tonia Poteat>

Poteat shares with us 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.

Ed Williams>

Williams recounts in detail his time in the service during WW II and his time in PA school. He also gives advice to the new generation of PAs and his thoughts on his own career.

Oral History Collections

PAs and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic>

This oral history series highlights the role PAs and the AAPA LBGT Caucus played in healthcare during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s.

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.