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.




Jones shares how he helped to start the Saudi Arabian PA program.


Dr. Parle talks about his role in the spread of Physician Associates in the UK. .


Roberts, the Programme Director of Physician Associate Studies at St. George's, University of London, talks of how she became involved with St. George's PA program.


The founder, officers and members of the international student group IFPACS explain what the organization is, how it came about, and how you can join!


Steven Turnipseed >

Steven Turnipseed, MPH, PA-C, 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.

William Deák >

William Deák, MD, worked in Alaska for many years. He also worked with Title X to bring PAs and NPs to the state to help with medical care, most especially for the workers on the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

Hank Lemke >

Hank Lemke, DHSc, PA-C, shares how he joined the Air Force, became a PA, and became a educator in both the military and the civilian sectors. He also relates about his time in England during Desert Storm and how he aided the Interservice PA Program.

John Trimbath >

John Trimbath, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, DAGWUSMHS, talks about the history of Cuyahoga Community College Surgeon's Assistant/PA Program, how he became a PA, and the fight to get prescription rights for PAs in Ohio.

Carl Toney >

Carl Toney, PA, 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.

Doug Condit >

Doug Condit, PA, DFAAPA, relates how he joined the Navy Hospital Corps, arrived at Vietnam, and learned about the PA profession.

Michael Spear >

Michael Spear, PA-C, recounts what prompted him to join the Army and shares why he decided to become a PA afterwards.

Reflections on Hu Myers: An Oral History >

Pioneering PAs William Stanhope and Glen E. Combs remanence on Dr. Hu Myers and the early days of the Alderson-Broaddus PA program and of the PA profession itself.

Gary Tooley >

Gary Tooley,DHSc, DFAAPA, PA-C, shares his experiences as a medic in the Army, how he became a PA, and his service in the Army National Guard.

Shepard Stone - On Being a PA >

Shepard Stone, MPS, DMSc, PA, FAHA, DFAAPA, AFAsMA, shares his experiences being a PA, working in anesthesiology, and advice for new PAs.

Shepard Stone - Military Expereince >

Shepard Stone, MPS, DMSc, PA, FAHA, DFAAPA, AFAsMA, talks on his experiences in the Army Reserves, as a medic, and how he learned about the PA profession.

Jamilah Ali Alexander >

Jamilah Ali Alexander, PA-C, MPH, shares what drew her to medicine and to the PA profession, how she became interested in HIV/AIDs care, her most memorable patient interaction, and her advice on how PAs can foster tolerance in themselves and in their practice.


The Pedersens

PA Couple, Don and Kathy, share their international charity experiences.

Diane Bruessow

Bruessow shares her first experience serving as a PA to help underserved populations.

William Deák

Dr. Deák talks about his part in bringing PAs and NPs to Alaska.

PA couple Arnold and Nicolette talk about their work with the Indian Health Service.

Arnold Ketchum & Nicolette McDermott-Ketchum


Ruth Ballweg>

Ruth Ballweg shares her experiences as a PA, as a PA educator, and her efforts to help PAs around the world.

George McCullough>

McCullough was the first PA to serve on the White House Medical Unit and was the first US Air Force PA to be commissioned.

Reginald Carter and Jeffery Heinrich>

Reggie Carter and Jeff Heinrich talk about their involvement with the PA profession and the establishment and continuation of the PA History Society.

Patrick Killeen>

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


Rick Dehn>

Dehn tells of how he became a physician assistant, how he was drawn into PA education, and his accomplishments.

Jim Kielek>

Kielek joined the Navy in 1973, became a Hospital Corpsman, and graduated from his PA program in 1982. He is the only Navy PA to have attained the rank of Captain after first working his way up the enlisted ranks to Senior Chief Petty Officer, and the Warrant Officer Ranks to Chief Warrant Officer 3.

Ted Ruback>

Ruback talks about how he became a PA, how he became a PA educator, his mentor, Dr. Henry Silver, and how Dr. Silver's approach to education influenced his own.

Ron Garcia-Herrera>

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

Suzanne Reich>

Reich 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.