JOHNS CREEK, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the fifth straight year, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), has published PA workforce data — the most comprehensive statistical report on PAs nationwide, with over 91% of certified PAs providing input.
The 2017 Statistical Report of Certified Physician Assistants points to seismic shifts in PA practice. Highlights of the changing demographics include:
- PAs are increasingly meeting health needs in rural areas. The top five states ranked in order by concentration per 100,000 population are Alaska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Maine and Idaho.
- Mississippi and Arkansas experienced the highest percentage of PA growth between 2013 and 2017, 99% and 70% respectively.
- Of the now more than 123,000 certified PAs nationwide, 70% work in specialty practice and 27% work in primary care.
- The percentage of certified PAs practicing in a surgical subspecialty has increased 70.1% since 2013.
- Full-time PAs treat an average of 73 patients a week; the average salary is over $107,000 annually, an increase of 12.7% in five years.
“PAs practice medicine everywhere,” says Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, president and CEO of NCCPA. “They are bringing finely honed skills to medical and surgical teams in every specialty and are answering the urgent need for access to medical care in remote and underserved areas. The increase in both patient load and salaries illustrate an escalating demand for these highly qualified healthcare providers and the upward projectile of the profession.”
Physician assistant is consistently ranked as one of the top jobs in America, most recently by U.S. News and World Report as #2 in the Best Health Care Jobs of 2018. To meet the demand, the Accreditation and Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) expects the number of PA education programs will grow from 229 today to 291 by 2021—an increase of 27%.
About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for physician assistants (PAs) in the United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. There are more than 123,000 Certified PAs in the U.S. today. NCCPA also administers the Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) program for experienced, Certified PAs practicing in seven specialties. For more information, visit www.nccpa.net.