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Needs for Physicians' Assistants

John H. McGrath, PhD; Marjorie J. McKusick, MD; Bernadine Z. Paulshock, MD
JAMA. 1970;214(1):147-148. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180010087027.
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To the Editor.—  Much recent discussion suggests the need for new categories of health personnel to assist physicians. Before making any decisions regarding training programs for our own medical community, we elected to survey the physicians of the state of Delaware to ascertain their opinions regarding the need for physicians' assistants (PA), their willingness to use this type of personnel, and their willingness to participate in PA training programs.Of copies of a questionnaire sent to all members of the Medical Society of Delaware, 151 of 158 returned were sufficiently complete to be analyzed (Table).Some quite unexpected data appear. The percentage of total physicians who would use physicians' assistants is consistently greater than the percentage who see a need for them ( +20%). As a group, the greatest discrepancy (32%) in answers to See need and Would use categories is among the surgeons. The smallest discrepancy (4%) is within the


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