Celebrating 50 Years: Reginald Carter Past President Snapshot

Reginald Carter, PhD, PA, served as PAEA president from 1982-1983. At that time, the Association had 50 member programs across 29 states, compared to today’s nearly 300 member programs. Read his snapshot to learn about the highlights of his presidency, what was happening in PA education that year, and what he’s most proud of.

 What was happening in PA education during your year as president?   

The Association celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1982 when I became president. As I recall, the celebration was a low-keyed reception in the presidential suite at the AAPA annual meeting hotel in Washington, DC.  The Association had 50 member programs spread across 29 states. All but six states had passed some type of PA enabling legislation and national accreditation and certification standards, and evaluation processes were being fine-tuned. Most programs were receiving Federal and private foundation funds. The Association shared staff and profits from the “annual meeting” with the American Academy of PAs (AAPA). The joint APAP/AAPA office was in downtown Washington, DC.  Most of the presidents of the Association before myself and two other individuals had been MDs. I was the first PhD, PA-C to hold the position. Tom Godkins was the first PA-C to be president (1979-80).

What were the highlights of your presidency?

Our Board of Directors convinced the AAPA to designate one staff person, Jim Hughes, to be the managing director of PAEA (which was called APAP at the time) to improve communication between the national office and APAP member programs. All the survey data collected over the past 5 years on student and graduate PAs that were stored on magnetic tape were combined to produce one all-inclusive database that became the foundation for future research on PAs and provided data to produce the first annual report on PA programs, published in 1984. Research became an important function of the APAP/AAPA national office.

Looking back on your PAEA presidency, what are you most proud of?

Recognizing the importance of developing a strong research database and methodologies to become the premiere source of statistical, longitudinal, and demographic information on the PA profession and on workforce issues.