Anthony Jordan is seen here during his clinical year at UW Neighborhood Northgate Clinic. Because applicants to MEDEX need a required 4,000 hours of direct patient contact— as an EMT, physical therapist, military corpsman, et al— everyone entering the PA profession comes at it as a secondary career. The average age is 34. At age 55, Anthony had more life and medical experience than most PA students. Anthony worked in respiratory therapy for well over 20 years. “While working in the hospital, one of my co-workers went on to become a physician assistant,” he says.  I was enamored with the idea of being a PA.