Physician Assistant Program Records, 1964-2021

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Contains Medical Center Administrative records. These include records of the officers of the University, as defined in the Bylaws, the deans of schools and colleges, and departments, institutes,...
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Duke University. Physician Assistant Program.
Contains the administrative records of the Physician Assistant (PA) Program at the Duke University Medical Center, as well as the papers of the following program administrators: D. Robert Howard, John James McQueary, Reginald D. Carter, and Patricia (Pat) M. Dieter. Types of materials include correspondence, minutes, handbooks, grant materials, certificates, newsletters, budgets, reports, proceedings, subject files, publications, awards, photographs, audiotapes, memorabilia, clippings, announcements, memoranda, reprints, seminar flyers, original comic strip artwork, plaques, scrapbooks, oral history tapes and transcripts, computer disks, magnetic cards, videos, slides, and digital files. Major organizations include the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Academy of Physician Assistant Programs, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Eugene A. Stead Society. Major subjects include establishment of the PA profession, PA programs, PA history, admissions processes, curricula, PA education, accreditation standards, students, PA utilization and employment, certification of PAs, public and professional acceptance of PAs, third party Medicare Reimbursement, continuing medical education, area health education centers, and PA legislation. Materials range in date from 1964 to 2021.
61.8 Linear Feet (38 cartons, 1 manuscript box, 2 half manuscript boxes, 3 flat boxes, 3 card boxes, 1 map folder) 1 CD and 9.6 GB.
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Scope and content:

Collection documents the Physician Assistant Program at Duke University. It contains correspondence, photographic materials, programs, Audiovisual materials, scrapbooks, awards and honors, certificates, exhibition materials, administrative records, subject files, handbooks, committee and meeting materials, financial records, grant information, alumni directories and information, reports, presentations, curriculum materials, publications, conference materials, and digital files all pertaining to the Physician Assistant Program. Materials date from 1964 to 2021.

Biographical / historical:

In the 1950s, Duke Hospital took the lead to help solve a growing national problem: demand on the healthcare profession for services and a shortage of all types of health personnel. Dr. Eugene A. Stead Jr., then chair of the Department of Medicine, envisioned a physician assistant (PA) as a way to provide clinical support and to allow rural physicians to leave their practices to pursue continuing education opportunities.
The first PA training program began at Duke University in 1965. In 1967, Dr. E. Harvey Estes Jr. assumed administrative responsibility for the new program and moved quickly to establish the concept in both North Carolina and the nation. The first three PA students graduated from Duke on October 6, 1967.
Prior to 1968, the PA program was based in the Department of Medicine under Stead. Currently, the Duke PA program is a division within the Department of Community and Family Medicine. Program directors include:

  • D. Robert Howard (1968-1972)
  • E. Harvey Estes Jr., MD (1973-1974)
  • Michael Hamilton, MD (1975-1985)
  • Reginald Carter, Ph.D., PA (1985-2001)
  • Justine Strand, M.P.H., PA-C (2001-2003)
  • Patricia Dieter, MPA, PA-C (2003-2013)
  • Karen Hills (2013-2018)
  • Jacqueline S. Barnett (2018-present)
The initial funding for the Duke PA Program came from the National Heart Institute, where Stead was a member of a study section. In December 1966, Stead received a three-year grant from the Josiah Macy Jr., Foundation, and other grants soon followed from the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations and from the Commonwealth Fund. Attempts to solicit funds from federal agencies failed until 1972, when Congress passed the Comprehensive Health Manpower Act. This bill authorized support for PA training, and Duke received its first grant in July 1972.
A series of conferences in the late 1960s and early 1970s promoted the PA concept by addressing fundamental issues such as establishing PA programs and developing appropriate curricula, enlisting the leadership of organized medicine to set accreditation standards for PA education, public and professional acceptance of PAs, hospital credentials, productivity and cost-benefits of using PAs, legislation enabling physicians to use PAs in their practices, third party reimbursement, and professional liability.
The PA profession went from concept to reality in only thirty-five years. There are now more than 38,000 PAs in practice in the United States--more than 1,500 in North Carolina who have established records of service in primary care often in rural and medically underserved areas.
Duke PA graduates founded the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the only national organization which represents PAs in all specialties and all employment settings. They have been instrumental in the development of certification and continuing education guidelines. As directors and faculty members of other programs, they have helped to shape the standards of training for PA students. The Duke PA program continues to rank among the foremost PA training programs nationally.

Acquisition information:
Accession A1977.0216 (transferred, 1977), Accession A2003.016 (gift, May 2003), Accession A2004.082 (transferred, September 2004), Accession A2010.044 (transferred, July 2010), Accession A2011.003 (transferred, January 2011), Accession A2011.088 (transferred, November 2011), Accession A2012.026 (transferred, March 2012), Accession A2016.024 (transferred by Jennifer Pennington, June 2016), A2017.020 (transferred by Patricia McKelvey Dieter, May 2017), Accession A2018.026 (transferred by Patricia McKelvey Dieter, May 2018), Accession A2019.019 (transferred by Patricia McKelvey Dieter, March 2019), Accession A2021.069 (transferred by Stacey McCorison, August 2021), Accession A2021.075 (transferred by Patricia McKelvey Dieter, October 2021), Accession A2021.081 (transferred by Diane Spell, November 2021), Accession A2021.082 (transferred by Jennifer Pennington, November 2021), Accession A2022.012 (gift by Patricia Dieter, February 2022)
Processing information:

Processed by Mira Waller: August 2005; encoded by Mira Waller: August 2005; updated by Dawne Howard Lucas: March 2008, August 2012; updated by Lucy Waldrop: June 2016, May 2017, May 2018, March 2019, September 2021, October 2021, November 2021; April 2023; updated by Carter Hulinsky under the supervision of Lucy Waldrop: April 2023

Organized into the following series: Program Administration and Correspondence, 1964-2001; D. Robert Howard Papers, 1966-1974; John James McQueary Papers, 1970-1993; Reginald D. Carter Papers, 1967-2020; Patricia M Dieter Papers, 1964-2021; Eugene A. Stead Society Materials and Publications, 1975-2001; Class Composites and Informational Materials, 1967-2012; Photographs, 1966-2010; Scrapbooks, Awards, Certificates, and Exhibit Materials, 1971-2002; Videos, 1990-2004; Slides, 1970s, undated; Audiotapes, 1978-1990; Unprocessed Records, 1970-2009; Digital Files, 1992-2006. There is unprocessed material within this collection. Researchers should note that unprocessed material might overlap with/or relate to material found in other processed series. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each series described in the Series Scope and Contents section.
Physical location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Duke University Medical Center Library's online catalog.
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Contains Medical Center Administrative records. These include records of the officers of the University, as defined in the Bylaws, the deans of schools and colleges, and departments, institutes, and other offices as designated by the President. For a period of twenty-five years from the origin of the material, permission in writing from the director of the office of record and the Medical Center Archivist is required for use. After twenty-five years, records that have been processed may be consulted with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist. (Issued by the Office of the Chancellor, December 1, 1975).
Contains materials restricted at the folder level, in accordance with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For further information consult with the Medical Center Archivist.
Identified digital materials from Accession A2022.012 are restricted at the item level, in accordance with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For further information consult with the Medical Center Archivist.
Materials in box 45 are restricted and can only be accessed with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist.

Terms of access:

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Physician Assistant Program Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives.