A survey of family practice physician assistants (PAs) in Iowa was undertaken to determine the frequency with which they utilized specific clinical skills. A response was received from 55 of 77 (74%) PAs surveyed. Average age of respondents was 42 years (range, 35 to 50). Respondents had, on average, been practicing for 13 years, mostly in family medicine; on average, they saw 25 patients a day. All reported providing patient education, prescribing and dispensing medication, interpreting radiographs, referring patients, and providing a wide range of services similar to their physician counterparts in Iowa. In regard to 62 activities identified, few differences emerged among respondents when population setting was considered--except that PAs who work in communities of fewer than 10,000 residents often perform a wider range of services than those who work in larger communities. Activities that have been ranked as important by Iowa family practice physicians in other surveys were also the clinical skills that PAs in this survey reported performing most often. This study supports mounting evidence that PAs are an important aspect of primary care delivery across society. Their activities in the delivery of care are similar to those that the physicians with whom they are most closely associated consider important.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants|
|State||Published - 1999|