Physician Assistant Program
Objective: Physician assistants (PAs) are highly trained medical professionals seen in a wide area of medical specialties and settings. While many PAs have a background in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or work in emergency medicine, PAs are rarely found in the prehospital setting- caring for critically ill patients in remote settings before reaching a hospital. This paper is aimed to evaluate how PAs can be utilized in the prehospital setting and the effects on the patient outcomes.
Methods: Summon, PubMed, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA), and BioMed Central (BMC) were used to find academic literature regarding prehospital care published within the last five years. No exclusions for location of research were made. A total of 11 articles were reviewed and utilized, with retrospective studies most commonly used.
Results: At this time, there is minimal literature available regarding the use of PAs in the prehospital setting. When paramedic-led EMS is compared with physician-led EMS, patients who received physician-led care had better outcomes. The utilization of PAs in the prehospital setting has the ability to increase patient outcomes, reduce the stress on EDs and EMS, and increase patients’ access to care.
Conclusions: At this time, there is insufficient evidence to evaluate the use of PAs in prehospital medicine, however, evidence from European countries shows significant improvement in patient outcomes when physician staffed helicopter EMS is used.
Keywords: prehospital medicine, physician assistant, EMS, outcomes, association, mortality
Wold, Brooke, "The Utilization of Physician Assistants in the Prehospital Setting" (2023). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 146.