Explaining the Roles of PAs in Specialties
Posted by DwagenerComment

Physician Assistant Sarah Padgett examines a girl's earListen to the briefing (mp3)

There are more than 95,000 PAs practicing medicine and increasing access to care across all medical and surgical specialties. PAs are found in all settings and specialties including family medicine, primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, oncology, psychiatry, radiology, pediatrics and more. A typical PA will treat 3,500 patients in a year, and write as many as 5,200 prescriptions as part of that care.

New research shows that the average PA will practice medicine in two or three different specialties throughout their career, making them the most nimble and dynamic health professional practicing medicine today. By practicing in specialties, like their physician colleagues, PAs increase access to quality care and decrease wait times.

In fact, the Veterans Administration recently updated their scope of practice language to authorize PAs to practice medicine within defined levels of autonomy and exercise autonomous medical decision-making.

On Jan. 10, AAPA hosted a virtual briefing conference call for the media to learn more about PAs in specialty medicine. A recording of that call can be found here, and when you listen to the audio feel free to key into specific discussions:

  • Dermatology – 3:40
  • Orthopaedics – 11:00
  • Pediatrics – 17:00
  • Q&A and Future Challenges for PAs – 20:40

If you want to contact any of these speakers, please contact Patrick Dunne, AAPA’s senior manager of communications, media relations and social media at pdunne@aapa.org or 571-319-4394.

  • Lawrence Herman, PA-C, MPA, AAPA President
  • Jennifer Winter, PA-C, President, Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants
  • Thomas Gocke, III, MS, PA-C, ATC, President, Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Darren Young, President, Society for Physician Assistants in Pediatrics

See also: PAs: The Perfect Bridge Between Medical and Mental Health

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