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SEMPA was formed in March 1990 by a small group of former post-graduate residents. The organization was established to a) serve as the representative body for emergency medicine physician assistants; b) provide EMPAs with information, practice issues and other information affecting the practice of emergency medicine; c) advise PAs of the potential regulatory or advisory agencies or other professional organizations to exert regulatory control over the practice of emergency medicine; and d) develop guidelines on the role of the physician assistant in emergency medicine.

SEMPA grew throughout the 1990s, gaining members from EDs of all varieties including urban trauma centers, academic medical centers, suburban and rural hospitals. The recognition of SEMPA as the representative body of the nation's EMPAs also grew. SEMPA leaders and members were invited as ad hoc members of various committees and workgroups for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) recognized SEMPA as a specialty organization. As a result, AAPA and SEMPA formally appointed the first joint liaison to ACEP. Today, SEMPA frequently serves on various ACEP Committees, including Professional Practice Committee, EMS Committee, Legislative Committee, Academic Affairs Committee and the sections on Rural Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

SEMPA continued to expand. The complexities of operational time demands could no longer be adequately administered solely by a group of dedicated, but busy, working PA volunteers. SEMPA leaders determined that in order to accomplish its long term goals and best serve its members, SEMPA needed the services of a management group. This decision catapulted SEMPA into a fully responsive, member-driven, professional organization of men and women dedicated to SEMPA's mission and the specialty of emergency medicine.

From a small group of former post-graduate residents trying to find the pulse of the nation's PAs in emergency medicine, SEMPA is proud to have become a highly respected and dedicated group of emergency medicine physician assistants whose sole purpose is to represent those who, along with our emergency department team, provide the highest quality emergency care to patients.


2011 President John Graykoski's Address on SEMPA's History