A Healthcare Cadre That Meets A Country’s Needs



  • Mary Showstark Yale University Physician Assistant Online Program


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A global healthcare workforce crisis exists.  Physician Assistant/Physician Assistant Comparable (PA/PA-comparable) professions can help fill this gap especially in areas such as obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, and infectious disease.  These professions, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) include: Physician Assistants/Physician Associates (PA), Clinical Officers/Clinical Associates, and Assistant Medical Officers.  They exist in over 50 countries under numerous different names as there is no unifying, international title for this cadre.1 (Table 1). The International Labour Organization (ILO) classifies these providers as Paramedical Practitioners in the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) document; however, the ILO classification has brought some confusion around the name as being confused with Ambulance Workers which is a separate ISCO classification.2 For the purpose of this paper, we will refer to these professions as PA/PA-comparable cadre.  In each country, the PA/PA-comparable, like medical doctors, have variations in education, accreditation, regulation, licensing, and scope of practice. There is limited research on this group and very little written by local PA/PA-comparables themselves, thus the following articles are a medical anthropological start to gathering the PA/PA-comparable history from the perspective of this international cadre. 




How to Cite

Showstark, M. (2021). A Healthcare Cadre That Meets A Country’s Needs: Introduction . Social Innovations Journal, 8. Retrieved from https://socialinnovationsjournal.com/index.php/sij/article/view/1019