PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - A Maryland Senator visited the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in honor of National Physicians Assistant week.
State Sen. John Astle (D) of Anne Arundel Co. flew injured-solder rescue missions as a Marine Helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war. Their work there actually inspired American colleges to create the PA degree programs.
"Programs like this are going to give us more practitioners to do more good for more people," said Astle.
"That's where the [physician assistants] come in and I think, as the senator said, we are short of physicians now," said retired Naval Capt. Bill Dial. "It's going to be even greater in the future that's where the PAs and nurse practitioners are going to fit in."
This past August, UMES enrolled it's first class of students who will be working to earn a master's degree in physician assistant studies. It's now the minimum standard for training in the field.