Stephen L. Joyner, PA-C

Atlantic Beach, NC

Class of 1968 
Induction: 2007


Steve Joyner came to Duke University for the start up of the Physician Assistant Program in 1964 after serving as a U.S. Air Force Medical Corpsman. While waiting for the PA Program to accept its first students, he and five others began work in the Department of Renal Medicine at Duke as dialysis technicians. Mr. Joyner began the program as a part-time PA student in 1965 and continued to work in dialysis until graduating in 1968. He was then employed as a PA in transplantation medicine at Duke until August of 1969, when he became the first PA to go to work in a solo practice situation with Dr. Elliott Dixon of Ayden, North Carolina.

While employed with Dr. Dixon for the next thirteen years, Mr. Joyner was continuously active in promoting the PA profession and the Duke PA Program, speaking to numerous medical organizations and participating in the production of several videos for the American Medical Association, Medical Media Network and the Duke University PA Program, and published a number of articles about physician assistants.

Mr. Joyner was a founding member and served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants. He was a delegate to the AAPA House of Delegates as well as a delegate to the National Commission on Health Certifying Agencies. He was the AAPA delegate to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, serving on their Executive Committee for five years, holding office as Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Mr. Joyner was a member of the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee’s Adult Medical Care Panel. In 1982, he took a position as the Administrative Transplant and Organ Procurement Director at ECU School of Medicine. In 1985, he helped developed the Carolina Organ Procurement Agency and became their Executive Director. During this time, he was on several national committees and in 1988 served as President Elect of the National Association of Organ Procurement Agencies.

In 1989, Mr. Joyner and Craig Bruno, another Duke PA, opened a private urgent care facility where they were co-owners and worked as PAs until his retirement in 2002.

Honors and accomplishments include: Honorary Director of the National Committee on Certification of Physician Assistants, Honorary Member of the Board of Advisors to Carolina Organ Procurement Agency, Certificate of Appreciation for Service to the North Carolina Chapter of National Kidney Foundation, and Certificate of Appreciation for Service to the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants.