Physicians Perceptions of PAs' Preparedness
“PA education is, as suspected, well structured and should not bow to the changing healthcare field but rather continue to produce well-equipped."
Physicians in primary care and in medical and surgical subspecialties find that physician assistants (PAs) are prepared to actively participate in clinical activities, according to data presented at the American Academy of Physician Assistants 2017 conference.1
C. Biscardi, PA-C, PhD, and colleagues from the Monmouth University Physician Assistant Program in West Long Branch, New Jersey, conducted a survey of 36 licensed and clinically active Medical Doctors (MDs) or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) aged 21 years or older. The survey collected information on demographics; understanding of the PA profession, education, and clinical training; and experience working with PAs. The participants were asked about PA procedural proficiency and potential areas of further instruction, and they were asked to rate PA preparedness to practice and participate in clinical activities.
Of the respondents, 64% worked in primary care and 36% worked in subspecialty care. Approximately 22% of primary care physicians responded that they currently work with a PA, and 52% responded that they worked with a PA in the past. Among the subspecialty physicians, 92% stated that they currently work with a PA, while 8% worked with a PA in the past.
When the respondents were asked to rate PA preparedness, 74% of primary care physicians responded that PAs are “moderately prepared” while 17% responded that they are “extremely prepared.” Among subspecialty physicians, 69% said that PAs are moderately prepared, while 23% considered them extremely prepared.
The researchers concluded that, “PA education is, as suspected, well structured and should not bow to the changing healthcare field but rather continue to produce well-equipped, well-rounded medical professionals to help alleviate the burden in both primary care and surgical subspecialties.”
- Lapp D, Mohammad S, Arce G, Daly G, Higginson T, Biscardi C. Physician perceptions of PA preparedness in primary vs subspecialty care. Presented at the American Academy of Physician Assistants 2017 conference; May 15-19, 2017; Las Vegas