FORT SAM HOUSTON, TX -- The U.S. Army Borden Institute recently announced the upcoming publication of the first ever Army Physician Assistants (PA) Handbook. The handbook will be available at the end of May.

The book describes the myriad of positions and organizations in which PA's play in leadership roles and patient care. The book will also cover PA education, certification, continuing training, and career progression. Topics include; the Inter-service PA Program, assignments at the White House and the Old Guard (3rd US Infantry Regiment), roles in research and recruiting, as well as the PA's role in emergency medicine, aeromedical evacuation, clinical care, surgery, and occupational health.

For almost 50 years, Army PA's have been supporting the U.S. Army by ensuring the military force is both ready to fight today and are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.

Since the inception of the PA profession, military PAs have demonstrated that they are versatile and adaptable force multipliers needed in a variety of environments ranging from clinical settings to combat outposts. Army PA's provide a wide range of care at each level, or echelon of care; from emergency and life-saving treatment at the point of injury, to routine care or wellness visits, to specialty services such as orthopedics, emergency medicine, general surgery, behavioral health, and in staff roles at various levels and organizations throughout the Army.

The role of the Army PA has changed since the early 1990's when they first became became commissioned officers. Since their inception, PA's have molded to the current needs of the Army and that evolution is captured and commemorated in the PA Handbook.

The Physician Assistant (PA) Handbook, the first of its kind, came from an identified need for baseline operational knowledge for Army PAs in both the garrison and battlefield environments. Due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, PA authorizations expanded from approximately 550 to over 1,000 between 1999 and 2013.

Physician Assistants are the most deployed AOC (area of concentration) within the Army Medical Department (AMEDD). They are often deployed to remote locations where they are geographically isolated from their peers and PA mentors. Until recently, the opportunity for PA's to participate in the day-to-day interactions with professional colleagues were infrequent and often inadequate. Additionally, PA's did not have a single resource or reference that described career and role guidance beyond Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA PAM) 600-4.

The PA Handbook is derived from a collaborative and collective effort of over 50 medical and combat proven professionals: PA's, nurse practitioners, physicians, as well as editors from various agencies. The PA handbook was created as a resource for Army PA's to share their knowledge with the next generation of PA's, and as a guide to the career opportunities PA's now have.

The PA Handbook will also serve as a source document to outline the breadth of positions and opportunities available to Army PA's and will provide up-to-date information on the qualifications (skills, experiences, and training) for each position. Additionally, the handbook establishes a historical documentation of the evolution of pertinent medical operations and positions that Army PA's have held over the years.

To obtain a copy of the PA Handbook, visit Borden Institute's website at: http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/default.aspx.

Active duty military can request their complimentary copy by completing an order form at: http://www.cs.amedd.army.mil/borden/BordenOrder.aspx

Civilians can purchase the PA Handbook through the U.S. Government Bookstore at: http://bookstore.gpo.gov