The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) is celebrating National PA Week from October 6 to 12 to honor the growing influence of PAs in primary care.

The demand for PAs has increased by more than 300% during the past 3 years, and it is one of the top professions, according to US News& World Report, Forbes, and the Young Invincible. There are more than 108,500 certified PAs in the United States, and the demand continues to grow.

During the past couple years, PAs have also seen an increase in average salaries. This year, the median salary for PAs increased to $97,000, according to the 2016 AAPA salary survey. In addition, 48.7% of PAs received bonuses, and the median bonus rate was $5,000.

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Because PAs are licensed to practice medicine, prescribe medication, and assist in surgery, many PAs practice in 2 or 3 specialty areas. In 2016, 24.4% of PAs specialized in primary care, including family medicine, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics, 26.3% specialized in surgical subspecialties, 10.5% specialized in emergency medicine, and 10.8% specialized in internal medicine subspecialties.

PAs create access to healthcare providers, elevate health outcomes, and increase patient satisfaction.  According to a 2014 Harris Poll survey conducted for the AAPA, about 93% of patients who recently saw a PA agreed that PAs are trusted healthcare providers. In addition, 92% of patients believe that seeing a PA makes it easier to get a medical appointment, and 91% find that PAs improve the quality of healthcare.

Learn more about the survey results of the 2015 Statistical Profile of Recently Certified Physician Assistants.

Click here to read more about common myths of the PA profession.  For more information about National PA Week, visit