Addressing Misconceptions about the Physician Associate/Assistant Profession

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James R. Kilgore, DMSc, PhD, PA-C Thomas Colletti, DHSc, PA-C Emeritus Jenna Rolfs, DMSc, PA-C Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C Jeremy M. Welsh, PhD, DHSc, JD, PA-C Stephen Lewia Jr, DMSc, PA-C Debra S. Munsell, DHSc, PA-C Blake Rogers, DMSc, PA-C Jay C. Somers, DHSc, PA-C


The Physician Associate/Assistant profession has recently experienced attacks seeking to malign the extensive positive contributions made to patients and healthcare systems for over 50 years. The myopic view of some of these critics that only a physician is qualified to lead healthcare teams is not based on evidence in many cases but misconceptions about the training and experience of physician associates/assistants. In fact, when comparing a physician associate/assistant and a physician with the same number of hours of clinical experience, patient outcomes are similar. The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyze the statements being propagated and provide scientific data that categorically refutes these statements. Addressed are issues of education, clinical training, medical malpractice liability concerns, changing provider numbers, and expanding scopes of practice to meet healthcare needs worldwide.

Keywords: Physician Associate Profession, Physician Assistant Profession, Misconceptions in Healthcare, Clinical Training, Healthcare Team Leadership, Patient Outcomes, Medical Malpractice Liability, Scope of Practice, Healthcare Needs, Comparative Clinical Experience

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How to Cite
KILGORE, James R. et al. Addressing Misconceptions about the Physician Associate/Assistant Profession. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 6, june 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 july 2024. doi:


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