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See what makes being a physician assistant at VA special

As we continue expanding  services we offer Veterans here at VA, we’re looking for exceptional physician assistants (PAs) to join our team. We need PAs like you who understand our mission and want to work at the forefront of health care every day.

If you’re a PA interested in making a difference, you’ll find what you’re looking for at VA. We offer many resources to make your work more than just a job, but an opportunity to turn your expertise into a career of caring.

A brief history of physician assistants

The PA profession came into existence in the mid-1960s as a response to the shortage of primary care physicians in the United States, as well as concerns about the uneven geographic distribution of medical care.

The first class of PA students was assembled in 1965 at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, with Dr. Eugene A. Stead selecting the trainees from a pool of former U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen and U.S. Army combat medics.

These students were selected because of the medical training received during their military service, and the valuable experience gained during the Vietnam War. Coupled with Dr. Stead’s curriculum, which was in part based on his first-hand knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II, the program was a success.

Two years later, 4 Navy hospital corpsmen became the first graduates of the program, and part of their class soon went to work at the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina, making VA the first-ever employer of PAs.

PAs at VA today

Following on that history, VA remains the single largest employer of PAs in the country. There are approximately 2,900 PAs currently employed by VA— 24% of whom are Veterans themselves—carrying on a proud tradition of serving Veterans that began with that very first class of graduates.

As one of only 3 disciplines in VA that can diagnose, treat, and prescribe, PAs provide high-quality, Veteran-centric care across all areas including primary care, surgery, mental health, and other specialties. AS a PA, you can find a path to leadership roles at the local, regional, and national levels, as well.

PAs at VA find careers serving Veterans in medical centers, outpatient clinics, Clinical Resource Hubs, and other locations throughout our nationwide network. Whether you want the amenities of a big city or the wide-open spaces of a rural community, there’s a VA location for everyone. As a licensed PA, you can take your VA career anywhere you want to go.

Education support opportunities

VA has education support opportunities available for those who have been accepted into PA school, including  scholarships that  help ease the burden of continuing education.

For Veterans seeking to become PAs, VA offers the Educational Assistance for Certain Former Members of the Armed Forces (EACFMAF) scholarship. This scholarship allows certain former military members to pursue a master’s degree in physician assistant studies, and in the future, scholarship opportunities may be offered to non-Veterans, as well.

The scholarship provides tax-exempt support via a monthly stipend, as well as support for tuition, required fees, and other reasonable educational expenses, including books and necessary equipment. Scholarship recipients sign a mobility agreement and have a minimum service obligation of 24 months as a PA at VA.

This scholarship is administered through the Health Professionals Scholarship Program, and applications from Veterans interested in pursuing advanced PA degrees are accepted on a rolling, year-round basis.

Work at VA

As a physician assistant at VA, you’ll find opportunities to grow in your career and serve the Veterans who sacrificed for our country.

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