physician assistants


Summary: Health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. They deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. Duties may include physical exams, diagnosis and treatment of disease, interpretation of tests, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications. (from http://www.aapa.orglabout-pas accessed 2114/2011)

Top Publications

  1. Cooper R. New directions for nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the era of physician shortages. Acad Med. 2007;82:827-8 pubmed
    During the past 35 years, the roles for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have evolved in parallel with the roles that physicians have come to play...
  2. Hooker R, Klocko D, Larkin G. Physician assistants in emergency medicine: the impact of their role. Acad Emerg Med. 2011;18:72-7 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Physician assistants (PAs), one alternative, are employed in emergency departments (EDs), but little is known about the impact ..
  3. Doan Q, Hooker R, Wong H, Singer J, Sheps S, Kissoon N, et al. Canadians' willingness to receive care from physician assistants. Can Fam Physician. 2012;58:e459-64 pubmed
    To determine the willingness of Canadians to accept treatment from physician assistants (PAs). Respondents were asked to be surrogate patients or parents under 1 of 3 conditions selected at random...
  4. Drennan V, Chattopadhyay K, Halter M, Brearley S, de Lusignan S, Gabe J, et al. Physician assistants in English primary care teams: a survey. J Interprof Care. 2012;26:416-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The United Kingdom, like a number of other countries, have been exploring the contribution physician assistants, who are well established in the United States of America, can make to health care teams including primary ..
  5. Cawley J. Physician assistants and Title VII support. Acad Med. 2008;83:1049-56 pubmed publisher
    Federal support through Title VII, Section 747 has played an important role in promoting the use of physician assistants (PAs) in primary care and in the growth and institutionalization of PA educational programs in the United States...
  6. Albert N, Fonarow G, Yancy C, Curtis A, Stough W, Gheorghiade M, et al. Outpatient cardiology practices with advanced practice nurses and physician assistants provide similar delivery of recommended therapies (findings from IMPROVE HF). Am J Cardiol. 2010;105:1773-9 pubmed publisher
    ..0 APNs or PAs per cardiology practice was associated with the greater use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy and delivery of HF education and equivalent use of drug and cardiac resynchronization therapies. ..
  7. Ritsema T, Paterson K. Physician assistants in the United Kingdom: an initial profile of the profession. JAAPA. 2011;24:60 pubmed
    ..PAs work in 19 medical and surgical specialties; experienced PAs are more likely to practice in primary care. Prior to PA training, respondents worked in a wide variety of health professions. ..
  8. Zwijnenberg N, Bours G. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in Dutch hospitals: their role, extent of substitution and facilitators and barriers experienced in the reallocation of tasks. J Adv Nurs. 2012;68:1235-46 pubmed publisher
    This paper is a report of a study exploring the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, the extent of substitution and the barriers and facilitators experienced by them as a consequence of substitution in public hospitals...
  9. McCord C, Mbaruku G, Pereira C, Nzabuhakwa C, Bergstrom S. The quality of emergency obstetrical surgery by assistant medical officers in Tanzanian district hospitals. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009;28:w876-85 pubmed publisher
    ..There were significant differences between mission and government hospitals. ..

More Information


  1. Sargen M, Hooker R, Cooper R. Gaps in the supply of physicians, advance practice nurses, and physician assistants. J Am Coll Surg. 2011;212:991-9 pubmed publisher
    ..increase the demand for physicians and, as physician shortages widen, advanced practice nurses (APNs) and physician assistants (PAs) will play larger roles...
  2. Jones P, Cawley J. Workweek restrictions and specialty-trained physician assistants: potential opportunities. J Surg Educ. 2009;66:152-7 pubmed publisher
    The increasing use of physician assistants (PAs) in surgical settings is part of a continuing trend of PA specialization, and many graduate medical education (GME) programs in teaching hospitals have hired PAs to augment physician ..
  3. Woodmansee D, Hooker R. Physician assistants working in the Department of Veterans Affairs. JAAPA. 2010;23:41-4 pubmed
    There is broad consensus among medical workforce analysts that the demand for physician assistants (PAs), physicians, nurses, allied health, and other medical providers has substantially increased since the late 1990s...
  4. Drennan V, Levenson R, Halter M, Tye C. Physician assistants in English general practice: a qualitative study of employers' viewpoints. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2011;16:75-80 pubmed publisher
    ..In England, a few general practitioners (GPs) have been recruiting physician assistants (PAs) to work in their practices, independent of any pilot schemes...
  5. Henry L, Hooker R, Yates K. The role of physician assistants in rural health care: a systematic review of the literature. J Rural Health. 2011;27:220-9 pubmed publisher
    A literature review was performed to assess the role of physician assistants (PAs) in rural health care. Four categories were examined: scope of practice, physician perceptions, community perceptions, and retention/recruitment...
  6. Pastores S, O Connor M, Kleinpell R, Napolitano L, Ward N, Bailey H, et al. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty hour new standards: history, changes, and impact on staffing of intensive care units. Crit Care Med. 2011;39:2540-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Potential solutions include expanded utilization of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, telemedicine, offering critical care training positions to emergency medicine residents, and partnerships ..
  7. Hooker R, Everett C. The contributions of physician assistants in primary care systems. Health Soc Care Community. 2012;20:20-31 pubmed publisher
    ..of primary care doctors are occurring globally; one means of meeting this demand has been the use of physician assistants (PAs)...
  8. Dini L, Sarganas G, Boostrom E, Ogawa S, Heintze C, Braun V. German GPs' willingness to expand roles of physician assistants: a regional survey of perceptions and informal practices influencing uptake of health reforms in primary health care. Fam Pract. 2012;29:448-54 pubmed publisher
    ..GPs' attitudes and practices strongly affect task shifting and the expansion of the roles of physician assistants (PAs)...
  9. Everett C, Schumacher J, Wright A, Smith M. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners as a usual source of care. J Rural Health. 2009;25:407-14 pubmed publisher
    To identify characteristics and outcomes of patients who use physician assistants and nurse practitioners (PA/NPs) as a usual source of care...
  10. Hooker R, Cawley J, Leinweber W. Career flexibility of physician assistants and the potential for more primary care. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010;29:880-6 pubmed publisher
    In part because of their core generalist education, physician assistants can change clinical specialties over the course of their work life. This is known as career flexibility...
  11. Talley A, Ritzdorf K, Muma R. Attitudes of US physician assistants toward persons with HIV/AIDS. JAAPA. 2010;23:41-2, 44-6, 48 pubmed
    ..However, recent information about attitudes of physician assistants (PAs) is missing. A nationwide randomized sample of 1,500 PAs was surveyed through the US mail...
  12. Morgan P, Hooker R. Choice of specialties among physician assistants in the United States. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010;29:887-92 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper compares specialty prevalence between physicians and physician assistants, analyzes trends in PAs' specialty choices from 1997 to 2006, and suggests options for influencing these ..
  13. Kleinpell R, Ely E, Grabenkort R. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the intensive care unit: an evidence-based review. Crit Care Med. 2008;36:2888-97 pubmed publisher
    Advanced practitioners including nurse practitioners and physician assistants are contributing to care for critically ill patients in the intensive care unit through their participation on the multidisciplinary team and in collaborative ..
  14. Bohm E, Dunbar M, Pitman D, Rhule C, Araneta J. Experience with physician assistants in a Canadian arthroplasty program. Can J Surg. 2010;53:103-8 pubmed
    ..One successful model has been the use of physician assistants (PAs) within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)...
  15. Green R, Kodish S. Discussing a sensitive topic: Nurse practitioners' and physician assistants' communication strategies in managing patients with erectile dysfunction. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2009;21:698-705 pubmed publisher
    To examine strategies used by nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) when discussing the sensitive topic of erectile dysfunction (ED) with patients...
  16. Kawar E, Digiovine B. MICU care delivered by PAs versus residents: do PAs measure up?. JAAPA. 2011;24:36-41 pubmed
    Data on the perfomance of physician assistants in a medical intensive care unit are scarce. To compare clinical outcomes between patients admitted to a resident-run MICU and a PA-run MICU...
  17. Doan Q, Sabhaney V, Kissoon N, Sheps S, Singer J. A systematic review: The role and impact of the physician assistant in the emergency department. Emerg Med Australas. 2011;23:7-15 pubmed publisher
    This systematic review describes the role and impact of physician assistants (PAs) in the ED. It includes reports of surveys, retrospective and prospective studies as well as guidelines and reviews...
  18. Jones I, Hooker R. Physician assistants in Canada: update on health policy initiatives. Can Fam Physician. 2011;57:e83-8 pubmed
    To analyze the health policies related to physician assistants (PAs) and to understand the factors influencing this medical work force movement...
  19. Tsai C, Sullivan A, Ginde A, Camargo C. Quality of emergency care provided by physician assistants and nurse practitioners in acute asthma. Am J Emerg Med. 2010;28:485-91 pubmed publisher
    The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of care provided by physician assistants or nurse practitioners (ie, midlevel providers [MLPs]) in acute asthma, as compared with that provided by physicians...
  20. Larkin G, Hooker R. Patient willingness to be seen by physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and residents in the emergency department: does the presumption of assent have an empirical basis?. Am J Bioeth. 2010;10:1-10 pubmed publisher
    b>Physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and medical residents constitute an increasingly significant part of the American health care workforce, yet patient assent to be seen by nonphysicians is only presumed and seldom ..
  21. Reid Ponte P, O Neill K. Hiring into advanced practice positions: the nurse practitioner versus physician assistants debate. J Nurs Adm. 2013;43:329-35 pubmed publisher
    Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have long been part of the care model at our institution...
  22. Gershengorn H, Wunsch H, Wahab R, Leaf D, Brodie D, Li G, et al. Impact of nonphysician staffing on outcomes in a medical ICU. Chest. 2011;139:1347-1353 pubmed publisher
    ..In one MICU staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants (MICU-NP/PA) there were nonphysicians (nurse practitioners and physicians assistants) during the day (7:00 ..
  23. Budzi D, Lurie S, Singh K, Hooker R. Veterans' perceptions of care by nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians: a comparison from satisfaction surveys. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2010;22:170-6 pubmed publisher
    To examine the differences in patient satisfaction with care provided by nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), and physicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system...
  24. Ehrenpreis E, Sifuentes H, Ehrenpreis J, Smith Z, Marshall M. Suboptimal reporting of adverse medical events to the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2012;11:177-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA), having an increasing role in the delivery of medical care, are also needed to participate in post-..
  25. Redwood D, Joseph D, Christensen C, Provost E, Peterson V, Espey D, et al. Development of a flexible sigmoidoscopy training program for rural nurse practitioners and physician assistants to increase colorectal cancer screening among Alaska Native people. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009;20:1041-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We describe the development and implementation of a program to train rural nurse practitioners and physician assistants in flexible sigmoidoscopy.
  26. Goetz K, Campbell S, Broge B, Brodowski M, Steinhaeuser J, Wensing M, et al. Job satisfaction of practice assistants in general practice in Germany: an observational study. Fam Pract. 2013;30:411-7 pubmed publisher
    ..It will also help to improve working conditions for both practice assistants and GPs and create an environment to provide better quality care. ..
  27. Peters Klimm F, Olbort R, Campbell S, Mahler C, Miksch A, Baldauf A, et al. Physicians' view of primary care-based case management for patients with heart failure: a qualitative study. Int J Qual Health Care. 2009;21:363-71 pubmed publisher
    ..This primary care-based case management model characterized by the orchestrated delegation of tasks to doctors' assistants offers a promising strategy of enhanced chronic illness care, but it needs further adaptation and evaluation. ..
  28. Olbort R, Mahler C, Campbell S, Reuschenbach B, Müller Tasch T, Szecsenyi J, et al. Doctors' assistants' views of case management to improve chronic heart failure care in general practice: a qualitative study. J Adv Nurs. 2009;65:799-808 pubmed publisher
  29. Ducharme J, Alder R, Pelletier C, Murray D, Tepper J. The impact on patient flow after the integration of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in 6 Ontario emergency departments. CJEM. 2009;11:455-61 pubmed
    ..assess the impact of the integration of the new roles of primary health care nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) on patient flow, wait times and proportions of patients who left without being seen in 6 Ontario ..
  30. Kelvin J, Moore Higgs G, Maher K, Dubey A, Austin Seymour M, Daly N, et al. Non-physician practitioners in radiation oncology: advanced practice nurses and physician assistants. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1999;45:255-63 pubmed
    ..This support facilitates the physician's ability to focus on the technical aspects of prescribing radiotherapy. ..
  31. Hooker R, Berlin L. Trends in the supply of physician assistants and nurse practitioners in the United States. Health Aff (Millwood). 2002;21:174-81 pubmed
    In 2001 an estimated 103,612 nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) were in clinical employment in the United States...
  32. Stewart A, Catanzaro R. Can physician assistants be effective in the UK?. Clin Med (Lond). 2005;5:344-8 pubmed
    ..One solution is to introduce US-style physician assistants (PAs) who train for around two years following previous clinical work or a first degree, and perform duties ..
  33. Dauenhauer J, Podgorski C, Karuza J. Prescribing exercise for older adults: A needs assessment comparing primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2006;26:81-99 pubmed
    ..methods of exercise prescription for older adults, the authors conducted a survey of 177 physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners (39% response rate)...
  34. Parle J, Ross N, Doe W. The medical care practitioner: developing a physician assistant equivalent for the United Kingdom. Med J Aust. 2006;185:13-7 pubmed
    ..The deployment of MCPs may offer advantages over increasing the number of doctors or taking nurses out of nursing roles. The introduction of MCPs may also enhance service effectiveness and efficiency. ..
  35. Ohman Strickland P, Orzano A, Hudson S, Solberg L, DiCiccio Bloom B, O Malley D, et al. Quality of diabetes care in family medicine practices: influence of nurse-practitioners and physician's assistants. Ann Fam Med. 2008;6:14-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Family practices employing NPs performed better than those with physicians only and those employing PAs, especially with regard to diabetes process measures. The reasons for these differences are not clear. ..
  36. O Connor T, Hooker R. Extending rural and remote medicine with a new type of health worker: physician assistants. Aust J Rural Health. 2007;15:346-51 pubmed
    ..Literature used for the review covered the period 1967-2006. Physician assistants provide safe, high-quality and cost-effective primary care services under the direction of a doctor and ..
  37. Henry L, Hooker R. Retention of physician assistants in rural health clinics. J Rural Health. 2007;23:207-14 pubmed
    Improvement of rural health care access has been a guiding principle of federal and state policy regarding physician assistants (PAs)...
  38. Smith G. The role of physician assistants in improving renal care. Nephrol News Issues. 2004;18:51-6 pubmed
    ..According to 2003 census data from The American Academy of Nephrology Physician Assistants, only 98 of 20,646 survey respondents identified themselves as practicing in nephrology...
  39. Clark A, Monroe J, Feldman S, Fleischer A, Hauser D, Hinds M. The emerging role of physician assistants in the delivery of dermatologic health care. Dermatol Clin. 2000;18:297-302 pubmed
    ..Similar to much of medicine, the PA profession continues to evolve, with many members moving awa ..
  40. Houston E, Bork C, Price J, Jordan T, Dake J. How physician assistants use and perceive complementary and alternative medicine. JAAPA. 2001;14:29-30, 33-4, 39-40 passim pubmed
    ..The purpose of this study was to identify physician assistants' (PAs') attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, training, recommendations for, and personal use of CAM...
  41. Bell R, Davison M, Sefcik D. A first survey. Measuring burnout in emergency medicine physician assistants. JAAPA. 2002;15:40-2, 45-8, 51-2 passim pubmed
    ..Work, and Lifestyle Characteristics Survey, we assessed the burnout levels of emergency medicine physician assistants (EMPAs) and the presence of characteristics associated with higher burnout levels...
  42. Grzybicki D, Sullivan P, Oppy J, Bethke A, Raab S. The economic benefit for family/general medicine practices employing physician assistants. Am J Manag Care. 2002;8:613-20 pubmed
    ..Family/general medicine PAs are of significant economic benefit to practices that employ them. ..
  43. Davis A, Powe M. Physician assistants: scope of practice, regulation and reimbursement. J Med Pract Manage. 2002;18:81-5 pubmed
    This article details the regulatory statutes that define the scope of practice of physician assistants and the realities of their function in clinical practice...
  44. Hooker R. A cost analysis of physician assistants in primary care. JAAPA. 2002;15:39-42, 45, 48 passim pubmed
    Acute medical conditions commonly seen by physician assistants (PAs) or physicians were assigned costs for all resources used to treat an episode of illness...
  45. Goldman M, Occhiuto J, Peterson L, Zapka J, Palmer R. Physician assistants as providers of surgically induced abortion services. Am J Public Health. 2004;94:1352-7 pubmed
    We compared complication rates after surgical abortions performed by physician assistants with rates after abortions performed by physicians.
  46. Mathur M, Rampersad A, Howard K, Goldman G. Physician assistants as physician extenders in the pediatric intensive care unit setting-A 5-year experience. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2005;6:14-9 pubmed
    To describe the scope of practice and complementary role of physician assistants as physician extenders in the pediatric intensive care unit...
  47. Ganley O, Pendergast W, Wilkerson M, Mattingly D. Outcome study of substance impaired physicians and physician assistants under contract with North Carolina Physicians Health Program for the period 1995-2000. J Addict Dis. 2005;24:1-12 pubmed
    ..of this 6-year retroactive chart review is to compare outcome between chemically dependent physicians and physician assistants under contract with the North Carolina Physicians Health Program (NCPHP)...
  48. Intrator O, Feng Z, Mor V, Gifford D, Bourbonniere M, Zinn J. The employment of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in U.S. nursing homes. Gerontologist. 2005;45:486-95 pubmed
    Nursing facilities with nurse practitioners or physician assistants (NPs or PAs) have been reported to provide better care to residents...
  49. Larson E, Hart L. Growth and change in the physician assistant workforce in the United States, 1967-2000. J Allied Health. 2007;36:121-30 pubmed
    ..Individual-level data from the American Academy of Physician Assistants, supplemented with county-level aggregate data from the Area Resource File, were used to describe the ..
  50. Cipher D, Hooker R, Sekscenski E. Are older patients satisfied with physician assistants and nurse practitioners?. JAAPA. 2006;19:36, 39-40, 42-4 pubmed
    ..PAs, NPs, and physicians in primary care seemed to be viewed similarly regardless of patient characteristics. PAs and NPs may be a workforce that could be expanded to care for the rising needs of the elderly. ..
  51. Cipher D, Hooker R, Guerra P. Prescribing trends by nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the United States. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2006;18:291-6 pubmed
    As an important step in analyzing the role of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), we examined their prescribing behavior...
  52. Hooker R. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners: the United States experience. Med J Aust. 2006;185:4-7 pubmed
    b>Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) were introduced in the United States in 1967. As of 2006, there are 110 000 clinically active PAs and NPs (comprising approximately one sixth of the US medical workforce)...
  53. Larson E, Hart L, Ballweg R. National estimates of physician assistant productivity. J Allied Health. 2001;30:146-52 pubmed
    Analysis of productivity data from a nationally representative sample of physician assistants (PAs) showed that PAs performed 61.4 outpatient visits per week compared with 74...