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Research on the PA profession: The medical model shifts

Dehn, Richard W. MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA; Everett, Christine M. PhD, MPH, PA-C; Hooker, Roderick S. PhD, MBA, PA

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants: May 2017 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 33–42
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000515548.76484.39
Original Research

ABSTRACT Physician assistant (PA)-focused research arose in response to the idea that an assistant to the busy physician could improve healthcare delivery. The process of answering questions about the profession has involved multiple approaches and various scholarly disciplines. In the course of this undertaking, what emerged were three stages of examination of PA behavior. The bibliographic span from this period contains about 2,400 studies that advance some notion of PA benefit to society. On the 50th anniversary of the PA profession, a question arises as to what research has shown. The answer is that PAs are providing care at significant levels of quality and quantity and their presence is enriching many challenges in healthcare delivery. In an era where demand for medical services is outstripping supply, the good idea born in the 1960s is emerging as a medical innovation domestically and globally.

Richard W. Dehn is a professor in the College of Health and Human Services at Northern Arizona University's Phoenix Biomedical Campus, chair of the university's Department of Physician Assistant Studies, and a professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. Christine M. Everett is an assistant professor in the PA program at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Roderick S. Hooker is a retired PA and health policy analyst. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA; Reamer L. Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA; and Tanya Gregory, PhD, anniversary series editors

Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Physician Assistants