Dr. John Webster Kirklin is the founder of the first formal educational program to train surgical physician assistants. In the late 1960's he worked to alleviate a surgeon staffing shortage by helping PAs to develop surgical skills. Dr. Kirklin and his wife, Dr. Margaret Kirklin acting as the program's first Academic Director, started the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Surgeon Assistant training program in 1967. The focus of the program was inspired by Dr Kirklin's position as a leader in cardiac surgery and provided an emphasis on cardiac surgical training. This enabled many Cardiovascular Physician Assistants to enter the profession.
The leader in cardiovascular and thoracic education and professional development of PAs.
The APACVS Values include:
1. Education - we believe in lifelong learning
2. Professionalism - a cornerstone of our activities
3. Advocacy - we represent our members and our profession
4. Teamwork - we value being part of the team
5. Service - we work to deliver high quality patient care