Physician assistants in urgent care

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe the characteristics of physician assistants (PAs) who practice urgent care.

Methods:

Data from national surveys conducted by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) between 1998 and 2016 were analyzed, comparing PAs who practice in urgent care, emergency medicine, and all other specialties.

Results:

The percentage of PAs who work in an urgent care setting has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. PAs who work in urgent care see more patients and perform more minor surgical procedures than those in emergency medicine. They are less likely to be newly graduated PAs than those in emergency medicine. PAs in urgent care are less likely than other PAs to consult a physician about their patients in real time.

Conclusion:

The number of PAs practicing urgent care is increasing. More research is needed to further characterize PA practice in this specialty.

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