The case for the physician assistant

Nick Ross, Phil Begg, David Kuhns, James Parle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The NHS is facing a crisis from the combination of EWTD, MMC, the ageing population and rising expectations; thus its tradition of high quality care is under pressure. Physician assistants (PAs) are a new profession to the UK, educated to nationally set standards and, working as dependent practitioners, provide care in the medical model. PAs are currently employed by over 20 hospital Trusts as well as in primary care. They offer greater continuity than locum doctors and at considerably lower cost. PAs maintain generic competence and can therefore be utilised as required across different clinical areas. The stability of PAs in the workforce will be an additional resource for junior doctors on brief rotations. For the full benefits of PAs to be realised, and for the safety of the public, statutory registration and prescribing rights are required. Active support from the NHS is now needed to develop the workforce required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-6
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Clinical Competence
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Physician Assistants
  • Professional Role
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom
  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'The case for the physician assistant'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this