Every year, during the AAPA Conference, The Veterans Caucus conducts their Memorial Ceremony. This ceremony reminds our PA Colleagues that the first PAs were Veteran Corpsmen and Medics out of our Armed Forces.

In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians.

To help remedy this, Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center, put together the first class of PAs in 1965. He selected four Navy Hospital Corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service. Stead based the curriculum of the PA program on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II.

The names of Kenneth F. Ferrell, Victor Hugo Germino, Jr., Richard John Scheele and Donald Guffey should be memorialized not only as Veterans but also as pioneers of our profession. 

Each year during the Memorial Ceremony the Veterans Caucus recognizes the Civilian and Military PAs of the Year. The Military PA of the Year demonstrates the steadfast dedication  to the care of not only our active duty services members but also their family members and the members of the retired uniform services.

The Civilian PA of the Year demonstrates unwavering commitment to serving our veteran populations.

Following the Memorial Ceremony, the celebration continues with the annual Federal Service Reception. It is during this time our veteran, active duty and civilian attendees gather together for comradery, fellowship and telling of war stories. 

This is the time for the auction and Topics in the Tropics raffle. All of the proceed go to funding of the Caucus’ scholarship program

During the Memorial Ceremony the Caucus announces the annual scholarship awardees. Over the last 30 years the Veterans Caucus has awarded more than $700,00.00 to Veteran PA Students. This provides a partial arelif to the burdens of a PA education