MEDEX Northwest has proudly been helping veterans enter the PA profession since its inception in 1969. The original goal to leverage military medical training and experience for a civilian PA career remains a key part of the MEDEX mission. This program accepts and educates the highest percentage of military veterans among civilian PA programs. With years of experience integrating veterans into the classroom, and having faculty who are also veterans, MEDEX is uniquely positioned to help veterans be successful in the transition into civilian life. These pages, and our MEDEX Northwest Veterans Facebook site, contain links to personal guidance from our faculty who are veterans, reflections from MEDEX students who are veterans, and resources to help veterans prepare for the application process and the educational opportunities ahead.
In 2002, Pat Tillman left a successful football career with the Arizona Cardinals to join the US Army. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. The official story was that he was shot by enemy forces during an ambush, but it was later revealed that he may have been killed by friendly fire. Family and friends created the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2004 to honor Pat’s legacy and pay tribute to his commitment to leadership and service. In 2013, two MEDEX Northwest students were awarded the Tillman Scholarships. Between the two of them, DJ and Dustin had over 27 years in the military prior to entering physician assistant training at MEDEX Northwest. Both served with the US Army, where they received medical training and became medics deployed throughout the world.
YouTube: Entering Civilian Training Bill Tozier, Col., USA., Ret., former director of the Interservice PA Program, discusses transitioning into a civilian PA program. YouTube: Letters of Recommendation Bill Tozier, Col., USA., Ret., former director of the Interservice PA Program and his advice on what makes the best letters of reference stand out. YouTube: Gino Gianola Gino serves on the national veteran’s caucus, and is senior faculty at the MEDEX Northwest program. YouTube: John Padgett John Padgett was a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, and graduate of MEDEX class 4. YouTube: Carlos Rodriguez Carlos Rodriguez was a hospital corpsman in the Navy. He was on hand to assist landing helicopters, interdictions, and provide routine medical care.
YouTube: Learning From History
MEDEX Section Chief, Ruth Ballweg, leads a distinguished panel on the topic of how military corpsmen set the stage for the PA profession. Filmed at a 2012 PAEA Annual Education Forum in Seattle, WA, this video runs 46 minutes, and is presented courtesy of the PA History Society.
Resources for Veterans
The University of Washington has an active and supportive veterans center on its campuses in Seattle. This office is staffed with people who’re knowledgeable and can help students with financial aid, grant, and loan application support services, job search and civilian resume writing workshops, disability services and counseling services
The Washington Academy of Physician Assistants (WAPA) veterans committee is active in veteran student support services and providing advocacy for veterans at the state level. WAPA provides scholarships opportunities to honor current and former service members and to help provide financial support during PA training.
AAPA Veteran’s Caucus
The AAPA Veteran’s Caucus represents physician assistants who are veterans of the Uniformed Services. Many members continue to serve our country in the active, reserve or Guard components. The AAPA Veteran’s Caucus also have many affiliate (non-military) members who also support our goals.