Relationships of demographic background and practice setting among practicing physician assistants in the United States.

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Embargo End Date
Kelley, Justin
Lies, Shawn
Muma, Richard D.

Kelley, Justin, Lies, Shawn and Richard Muma (2009). Relationships of Demographic Background And Practice Setting Among Practicing Physician Assistants In The United States . In Proceedings: 5th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 122-123


The assumption has always been that minority health care providers were more likely to work in areas of need. However, no recent research has been conducted to determine this. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between current practice specialty and population served to demographic variables (e.g., race) among physician assistants (PAs). This cross-sectional study measured demographic and practice setting survey data. A random sampling of 10,500 PAs was surveyed. Nearly 12% of the sample was minority (compared to nearly 25% nationally). The main results indicated minority PAs were more likely to work in underserved and primary care practices as compared to non-minorities (Underserved=31.9% vs.19.3%; Primary Care=38.8% vs. 29.3%). Separately, there was a significant relationship among all those serving underserved populations and non-married individuals and those over age 39 (more likely to serve in this setting) (p <0.01). Household income less than $50,000 at the time of high school graduation was significantly related to serving underserved and primary care populations (more likely to serve in these settings) (p <0.01; p <0.001). In this sample minority PAs were more likely to serve in underserved and primary care settings. Certain demographics among all respondents were also significantly related to service in underserved and primary care settings.

Table of Content
Paper presented to the 5th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, May 1, 2009.
Research completed at Department of Physical Assistant-College of Health Professionals