The 2013 census of licensed physician assistants

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Abstract

A census of physician assistants in the United States is necessary to help legislators make policy decisions about the profession. In 2013, a PA status analysis was undertaken using a novel data source derived from state licensure. The Provider 360 Database was probed for all licensed PAs, and 84,064 were identified. Duplicates, sanctioned, deceased, and dual-licensed were reconciled. In the aggregate, the mean age was 42 years (median 45; mode 32; range 22–74) and 75% of US licensed PAs were women. Statewide distribution per capita ranged from 60 per 100,000 in Alaska to 3.9 per 100,000 in Mississippi; the US mean was 26.8. The robustness of this database draws on active licensure data to identify clinically active PAs. Such refinements and details contribute to health workforce research such as census, modeling, retirement trends, and labor participation rates.

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