Physician Assistant Location and Geographic Trajectories: A National Study


Despite the need for generalist care providers in rural areas experiencing shortages of generalist physicians, the percentage of physician assistants (PAs) that practice in small towns has been decreasing. This study examined PA rural and urban location behavior and their geographic trajectories over time based on national PA data collected in an earlier study. Data from sources such as the Area Resource File were used to characterize the areas where PAs were located. Factors such as PA demography, educational program type and location, preceptorship location, and previous health care provider status were examined. As the American health care delivery system changes, with workforce policies that focus more sharply on generalist care, the need to better understand PA practices is crucial. Funded by HRSA’s ORHP.