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Demand for physician assistants is increasing in Oklahoma

James Barrett, professor and vice chairman of the OU Family and Preventive Medicine Clinic, discusses the burgeoning demand and need for physician assistants.
by Paula Burkes Modified: October 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: October 14, 2013

Q&A with James Barrett

Skilled physician assistants help fill up growing health care gap

Q: With a booming aging population and many physicians reaching retirement age, the demand for physicians is growing. How are physician assistants (PAs) helping doctors fill the health care gap in Oklahoma?

A: PAs are an integral part of today's health care team, working in virtually every medical setting. They serve patients in emergency rooms, critical care units, private practices and nursing homes. They are specialists and generalists. PAs write prescriptions, treat minor illnesses and perform surgeries.

Q: How do patients benefit from going to doctors who utilize PAs in their practices?

A: A PA can help alleviate the health care bottleneck that only continues to grow and provide more quality, patient-centered care. More than 1,200 PAs are providing quality care in the state and it is the second fastest-growing health care profession in the country.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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