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.



Hank Lemke

Hank Lemke shares how he joined the Air Force, became a PA, became an educator in both the military and the civilian sectors, and how he aided the Interservice PA Program.

William Deák

Dr. Deák worked as a physician in Alaska for many years. He also worked to bring PAs and NPs to the state to help with medical care, most especially for the workers on the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

Justine Strand de Oliveira

Justine Strand de Oliveira talks of being an early PA in Austin, Texas, her involvement with the Texas Academy of PAs, and trying to push through PA legislature in Texas in the late 1980s.

Joseph Marzucco

Joe Marzucco was one of the first PAs to practice in the state of Alaska and was instrumental in helping usher in PA practicing legislation in the state.


Oswald Ganley >

Oswald Ganley, PhD, MPA, PA-C, became a PA at the age of 67, after having successful careers in three non-medical fields, including serving as a US Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of State. Ganley practiced as a PA for 20 years before retiring in 2016 at age 87.

Richard Rohrs >

Richard Rohrs, PA-C, DFAAPA, SFHM, talks about his experiences as a consultant to help the PA profession start and take hold in the Netherlands.

Tom Hoogeveen >

Tom Hoogeveen has worked for the Dutch Ministry of Health since 1991. Since 2002, he has been devoted to the development of the PA profession in the Netherlands.

Frank Holweg >

Frank Holweg, a PA educator in the Netherlands, talks about how he joined he profession, the early days of the Nijmegen University PA program, how they are helping other PA programs in Europe set up curriculum for master's degrees, and his thoughts on the future of the profession in his country.

Gerard Marciano >

Kenneth Harbert, PhD, MHA, PA, interviews Gerard Marciano, EdD, MS, PA-C, from the Cornell PA Program on the visit from representatives from the Netherlands in 2001 that sparked the PA profession in that country.

Gerald Simons >

Gerald "Jerry" Simons, MPAS, DFAAPA, PA-C, talks on how the visit to Cornell University's PA program and the American Association of Surgical PAs helped form and inspire the PA profession in the Netherlands.

Geert van den Brink >

Geert van den Brink is a critical care nurse in the Netherlands who was selected to develop the first PA generalists and Masters degree programs in the country. Due to Geert's early work with the Ministry of Health, physicians and hospital administrators, he later became the person representing both PA and NPs to the Ministry of Health.

Quinten van den Driesschen >

Quinten van den Driesschen is one of the first PAs be educated and practice in the Netherlands. He talks about what made him interested in the new profession, his experiences in the first class and how he decided to become a PA educator. He also discussed what he sees for the future of the profession in his country.

Joseph Marzucco >

Joseph Marzucco, PhD, PA-C, was one of the first PAs to practice in the state of Alaska. He was instrumental in the early years of the profession in Alaska and helped usher in PA practicing legislation in that state. He was also the first PA to practice in Urology.

Earl Echard >

Earl Echard, PA-C, talks about what drew him to medicine, being drafted into the Army, being wounded three times in Vietnam, and his work as a PA in the North Carolina State Prison System.


Heidi Miller

Heidi Miller shares about how she became a PA and her experiences working with early HIV patients.

Jennifer Coombs

Jennifer Coombs shares how she learned of the PA profession and what drew her to the profession.

Christina Dobbs

Christina Dobbs speaks of how Red Rocks Community College became the first community college to offer a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies.

Ron Garcia-Herrera talks about his part in the development of the PAs for Latino Health Caucus.

Ron Garcia-Herrera


Susan Swank-Caschera>

Susan Swank-Caschera started the Pennsylvania College of Technology's PA program. She was involved with the Critical Incidents Stress Management Team of Pennsylvania which took part in helping those involved for the TWA Flight 800 plane crash and 9/11.

Grace Landel>

Grace Landel is a graduate from the Baylor PA program. She has worked in rural and urban family practice and has been a member numerous of state and national PA organization boards. She 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.

Barney McCollough>

Barney McCollough talks about being the first PA in Florida, working with Bill Clinton in Arkansas to use PAs to help rural communities, and working in Arkansas, Iowa and Florida to set up rural health clinics.

Ann Bliss>

Ann Bliss talks about the founding of the Yale PA program.

Tom Lemley>

Tom Lemley served in the US Air Force for 23 years. He was a past Speaker of the House and Pennsylvania delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates and a life long member and leader in the Veterans Caucus


Kenneth Harbert>

Kenneth Harbert shares how he became a PA educator, his work with PTSD patients, and the founding of the AAPA Veterans Caucus.

Virginia Hass>

Virginia Hass (DNP, RN, FNP-C, PA-C, MSN) talks on the differences between Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant, her greatest accomplishments as a PA and NP, and her advice for those interested in becoming PAs.

George Parkerson on Henry "Buddy" Treadwell>

This interview of George Parkerson focuses on Parkerson's experience as a fourth year Duke University Medical Student rotating through Dr. Amos Johnson's Clinic in Garland, NC in 1953. Parkerson recalls how he and Dr. Johnson's assistant, Buddy Treadwell, were left alone to run the clinic while Dr. Johnson was away.

Terry Scott>

Terry Scott, program director of MEDEX Northwest, talks about how growing up in the segregated south inspired him to become a part of the medical profession, how he became involved in the PA profession, and working with Dr. Dick Smith.

Shepard Stone>

Shepard Stone shares his experiences being a PA, working in anesthesiology, and his advice for new PAs.

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