The physician assistant landscape is continually evolving, offering impressive career growth potential for men and women choosing to enter the field. With PA jobs expected to increase by 31% between 2018 and 2028, the PA industry is primed to grow much faster than average over the next decade. But while more PAs are completing their training, their primary care potential will remain limited as long as PAs remain concentrated in metropolitan areas. Below is a look at the changing role of physician assistants and a look at some of the efforts underway to help PAs address the shortage of primary care doctors.
The physician shortage in the United States is not going away anytime soon. New data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) supports previous estimates, projecting shortfalls between 46,900 and 121,900 doctors by 2032. That means job opportunities will always be abundant, and a career in locum tenens can open doors wherever you want to go—so when looking ahead to future work, the choice is truly yours.
The Association of American Medical Colleges found that, by 2032, the expected shortage of physicians will be around 122,000 professionals. Approximately 65,000 of those will be specialists, while the remaining amount will be primary care physicians.
The result of a low supply of physicians and an aging population is that individuals and families will have less access to medical care if nothing is done. Despite the challenges associated with physician shortages, it is important to highlight some of the benefits of hiring physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other advanced practice clinicians.
For years, some areas have suffered a shortage of physicians. This has been brought about by a combination of factors, including the aging population, general population growth, a lack of capacity at medical schools, and the amount of time it takes for someone to go all the way through the relevant training.
According to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States will have a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. This includes both primary care providers and specialists.
The AAMC estimates that in order to equalize medical accessibility across geographic location, race, and insurance coverage, 95,900 doctors would need to be added immediately. These would be in addition to those needed to meet health professional shortage areas.
Meanwhile, advanced practice providers (APPs) like NPs (nurse practitioner) and PAs (physician assistant) are growing in number. By 2030, it is projected that there will be 53.9 APPs per 100 physicians, according to Fierce Healthcare. This has already led to APPs taking over many of the duties once reserved for doctors.
As time goes on, the shortage of physicians is increasing. Demand is exceeding supply due to an aging population as well as the long training times involved in getting new medical students their degrees. The raw capacity of medical schools is also limited.
Because of this, the medical industry has had to adapt. Procedures that were once done by doctors are being performed by Advanced Practice Providers (APP) like nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse registered anesthetists. Currently, there are about 234,000 advanced practice registered nurses in the United States, and the number is expected to grow.
Dear Physician Assistant (PA),
In honor of National PA Week, VISTA wishes to extend a sincere and tremendous thank-you to physician assistants everywhere. From October 6-12th, we’re celebrating National PA Week, which recognizes the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. During PA Week, we hope you’ll have the chance to talk to a PA about what it is they do, and why they're proud to do it.
We recognize even if you haven’t been treated by a PA before, there’s a good chance you will in the near future. There are more than 123,000 PAs working across the country—and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is expected to grow 37 percent between 2016 and 2036.
By attending continuing medical education (CME) courses, you can stay up-to-date on all the amazing advances in the industry. From pharmaceuticals to legislative rules, these courses cover all the topics that keep the nation’s doctors, nurses, and clinicians ahead of all the changes.
With proper use of EMR/EHR systems, medical professionals can quickly and accurately record patients’ data. These systems are vital to ensuring patients have complete medical records that comply with HIPAA and other important regulations.
Unfortunately for those working locum tenens, each medical center tends to have their own proprietary system. Challenges abound as locum tenens clinicians encounter, and have to learn about, new EMR/EHR systems at every job. This guide aims to help by providing some tips for you to use when it comes time to pick up your next locum tenens assignment.
As a clinician, working in a permanent role can be both rewarding and challenging. You can enjoy more stability, employee benefits and job security. However, you may also have a demanding work schedule, have few opportunities for professional development or lack work-life balance. This can affect the passion or “spark” in your medical career, leaving you feeling unmotivated and drained.
Although large cities may seem fun and glamorous, it is the remote and rural locations that tend to offer the most value. These locations allow you to explore your career and the world in a whole new way. You can net higher pay, provide care to underserved communities, and much more while working in remote locations. Still unsure? Read on to learn why you should consider remote locations when working locum tenens.
About VISTA Staffing Solutions
Founded in 1990, VISTA Staffing Solutions helps hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies in the US optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. A leading provider of US Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA has 30 years of experience providing award-winning service in the locum tenens industry.