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ADVANCE for NPs & PAs Blog

Task Force Makes Recommendations for Future of PA Profession

Published February 8, 2012 11:40 AM by Kelly Wolfgang
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) recently announced a set of 16 recommendations to promote the growth of the PA workforce.

The task force, developed in October 2010, was charged with addressing future opportunities and challenges associated with expansion and growth of the field.

After holding two in-person meetings in Washington, D.C., the task force created a specified list of recommendations with detailed rationales, implementation suggestions and desired outcomes.

Specifically, the recommendations involve identifying core values related to diversity, primary care, and competition, and specific strategies for bolstering training, workforce, and collaboration.

By focusing on diversity, quality, infrastructure and distribution, the task force hopes to expand the profession by 2020 to meet a growing demand for qualified healthcare professionals across the nation.

The joint task force's final report notes that a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians and 46,000 specialist physicians will be needed in the next 8 years - a problem to be solved by developing a stronger PA presence nation-wide.

By targeting the field in multiple stages, including pre-application to a PA program and admission process, didactic curriculum within PA programs, clinical education curriculum, and post-graduate or practicing PA work, the task force hopes to strengthen the profession in its primary role in healthcare delivery.

As Kevin C. Lohenry, PhD, PA-C, president of PAEA, and Robert L. Wooten, PA-C, president of AAPA noted in their pre-report address, "We feel that the recommendations outlined in this report are critical in providing quality healthcare to all Americans."

A full description of each recommendation will be detailed in a forthcoming article by ADVANCE for NPs and PAs.

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