The use nonphysician clinicians (NPCs) in the provision of medical care has grown over the years. Although physicians still dominate the medical field, there were over 66,000 Physician Assistants in the United States in 2005. Before Physician Assistants (PAs) and
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) were licensed, physicians were the only individuals permitted by law to perform a variety of medical procedures. Most people would agree that the use of PAs and NPs can reduce medical costs. The more important question is how much quality (if any) is sacrificed when NPCs are used instead of MDs. It is my hypothesis that certain more ‘routine’ procedure could be done more cost effectively using NPCs, and the change in health outcomes would be negligible.
[See full paper proposal below]
Paper Proposal: Physician Assistants