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

CLARA VANDERBILT

She was one of the first PAs to be trained to assist in surgery, was the first president of the New York State Society of PAs, and helped set up the Association of Postgraduate PA Programs.

ERIC

SCHUMAN

Mr. Schuman shares his memorable moments and accomplishments in his PA practice, his time on the editorial board JAAPA, and his fascinating altruistic endeavors.

RUBY WILSON

Head of Duke University School of Nursing and consultant to Dr. Stead on the PA profession.

LOVEST ALEXANDER JR.

Mr. Lovest is a recognized leader int eh recruitment of underrepresented minority health career students into the physician assistant profession. He is an educator at Duke University's PA program and was the Director of Minority Affairs there for many years.

FEATURED AUDIO ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS

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.

FEATURED VIDEO ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS

Judith Willis

Judith Willis, the first woman president of AAPA, shares what it was like in the early years of the PA profession and the trials she faced as a woman.

Maryann Ramos

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.

Father & Daughter PAs

Megan Heard Hall and father, Hank Heard, talk about why she decided to follow in her father's footsteps in becoming a PA

Founder of the PA profession

DR. Eugene Stead, Jr.

NEW VIDEO ORAL HISTORIES

Kara Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C>

Kara Caruthers, MSPAS, PA-C, is Assistant Program Director and Director of Community Engagement, Diversity and Recruitment of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's PA program. She shares how she became a PA, how she became a PA educator, her achievements, and her words of wisdom for PA students.

Jennifer Coombs, PhD, MPAS, PA-C>

Jennifer Coombs is a PA educator with the University of Utah PA program. Dr. Coombs shares how she learned of the PA profession and what drew her to the profession. She also talks of her mentor Don Pedersen and how he inspired and encouraged her to become a PA educator.

Shani Fleming, MS, MPH, PA-C>

Shani Fleming shares how she became a PA, her most touching experience as a PA, and, how she is looking forward to the change that her volunteer work on the PAEA Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission will bring,

Ilaria Gadalla, DMSc, PA-C>

Ilaria Gadalla is a professor at South University in Richmond, VA. She shares the story of how decided to switch careers from a respiratory therapist to PA, her volunteer work, her journey to become a PA educator, and her advice to PA students. Filmed at the 2018 PAEA Education Forum.

Daytheon Sturges, MPAS, PA-C>

Daytheon Sturges is an assistant professor and clinical coordinator at the UT Southwestern's PA program. Mr. Sturges relates how his mother's childhood injury spurred him to join the medical field as a PA, his passion for helping underserved populations and how he strives to recruit more minority students to enter into the PA profession. He also talks about his mentors and his words of encouragement for future students.

Mark Behar, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA>

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

Diane Bruessow, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA>

Diane Bruessow is the Secretary-Treasurer of the AAPA Board of Directors. She is an active member of the AAPA Board Finance Committee. In her interview, Ms. Bruessow shares how she learned about the PA profession and her first experience serving as a PA to help underserved populations.

Stephen Hanson, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA>

Stephen Hanson shares the story of how he became a PA, what is was like being the lead author for the PA Guidelines of Ethical Conduct and what he hopes his legacy is.

John Finley Jr., PA-C Emeritus>

John Finley Jr. was a graduate from the 6th graduating class of Emory University in December 1979. Mr. Finley talks about his career as an early PA.

Amy Jackson, LTC(P), SP, MPAS, PA-C>

LTC(P) Amy Jackson is currently the Deputy Commander For Administration of the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Clinic in Belgium. She talks about how she enrolled in the Interservice PA Program (IPAP), her experiences as a commander, and her work on the first Army PA handbook!

Tracy Jackson, MA, PA-C>

Tracy Jackson is the Interim Assistant Dean and Director of the CUNY School of Medicine PA program. She is also the current president of the New York State Society of PAs (NYSSPA). She shares what made her decide to become a PA, how she became a PA educator, and her PA leadership experiences.

Jessie Jeffrey, PA>

Jessie Jeffrey is a 1982 graduate of the Charles Drew University PA program. She shares the story of how she became a PA, how mentors inspired her to join the Minority Affairs Committee, challenges she faced in the early days of her career, and her advice for those new in their PA careers.

James McGraw, MPAS, PA>

James McGraw works in integrated healthcare focusing on pain management. Mr. McGraw talks about his involvement and accomplishments with the SAAAPA, AAPA, NCCPA and the LGBT Caucus. He also gives advice to PA students.

Jorge Muniz, MS, PA-C>

Jorge Muniz, creator and artist of the hit Medcomic, talks about his career as a PA, his webcomic, and his current projects. Visit his website at www.medcomic.com!

Christopher Pase, LTC, PA-C>

LTC Christopher Pase has spent more than 25 years as an Army PA. He talks about his involvement with the Soldier for Life program, how he became a PA, and offers advice to those thinking of joining the PA profession.

Julie Theriault, PA-C, DFAAPA>

Julie Theriault is a past president of the California Academy of Physician Assistants and of AAPA. She shares the stories of how she became a PA and president of AAPA and also offers advice to those considering the PA profession as a career.

FEATURED ORAL HISTORIES

Murl Dotson, PA-C>

Murl 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.

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

Amelia 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.

Pauline Gross, COL[RET], SP, MPH, PA-C>

Pauline 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.

Paul Lombardo, MPS-HSA, PA-C>

Paul Lombardo, current Chair of the NCCPA Board, talks about his pride in the PA profession, especially the continued focus on the patient by all four PA professional organizations.

Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C>

Terry Scott 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.

Howard Straker, MPH, PA-C>

Howard Straker 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.

Judith Willis, PA, MA, DFAAPA>

Judith Willis was the first woman president of the AAPA. She shares how she became a PA and the issues she had to face when she became president of AAPA.

Jimmie E. Keller, MPH, PA>

A mini oral history with Jimmie E. Keller 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.