A Brief Overview of Physician Assistants in the United States
Keywords:United States, Physician Assistants
The PA profession was established in 1965 at Duke University in North Carolina. The first four graduates were Navy Corpsmen (military medical experience). Upon graduation in 1967, they all started practicing at Duke University. Today, there are approximately 150,000 PAs practicing across all 50 states in the US (NCCPA, state information 2020). PAs have more than 400 million patient interactions per year (2019 AAPA Salary Survey). The profession in America is now very well-established.
There is increasing specialization with 75% of the practicing PAs specialize (AAPA, 2016). There is an increasing proportion of women with over 69% of all PAs; 73% of students are women (AAPA/PAEA, 2016). PAs demonstrate high levels of patient acceptance, quality of care, and clinical flexibility. All PAs must graduate from an ARC-PA accredited program to practice in the USA, which means that PAs that intend to work in the US must train at a US university. There are no bridging programs at the current moment that allow for PAs from other countries to work in the US as a PA. The PA education training would need to be repeated.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Mary Showstark, David Mittman
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