December 1st, 2000

Roger Nevling, P.A.-C., a physician assistant with Great River Health Systems' Healthwest Clinic, recently completed the first postgraduate occupational and environmental medicine program offered at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Fifty-one physician assistants successfully completed 40 hours of continuing medical education credits in the certificate program, a three-credit graduate course offered through the Duke School of Medicine. The program included topics such as worker's compensation, work-site assessment, occupational exposures, illnesses, injuries, and drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

The physician-assistant concept began at Duke University Medical Center in 1965 to meet the demand for greater access to medical care, especially in rural areas of the country. There are now more than 38,000 physician assistants in the United States.