This Month's News
Physician assistants taking on new roles in primary care
A recent article in Virtual Mentor, the AMA's monthly online ethics journal, looks at the increased reliance on physician assistants (and nurse practitioners) to deliver primary care services.
The author notes, "There appears to be increasing reliance on PAs and NPs to deliver primary care services," and "Longer-term trends point to a future for PAs and NPs as the principal front-line deliverers of primary care with physicians assuming more managerial and executive functions and a greater focus on inpatient specialty practice."
These changes come amid the backdrop of the nation's needs "to meet the demands of an aging population, changes in service use, and trends connected with a major expansion of insurance coverage." Both the versatility and cost-effectiveness of PAs, the author contends, are keys to the growing popularity of these practitioners to help increase access to primary care services.
Learn more about the physician assistant field through the AMA's Health Care Careers Directory, which lists educational programs in this and more than 80 other health professions.