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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
/articleid/3893394/1/pictures/2239596">Photo - Physician James Barrett directs family medicine residences at the University of Oklahoma.
Physician James Barrett directs family medicine residences at the University of Oklahoma.

Q: What kind of knowledge do PAs have?

A: Each PA goes through more than 3,000 hours of rigorous training. Their level of education is higher than most allied health professions. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows primary care physicians are more likely to work with physician assistants or nurse practitioners than physicians in other specialties.

Q: How has the PA movement changed the face of health care?

A: As baby boomers age and the health care system changes, there is a higher demand for PAs. They serve in urban and rural areas across Oklahoma. Sometimes, they are the only health care provider for hundreds of miles. PAs have enhanced access of health care and patient education. They are an extension of a doctor, making the physician's and patients' lives easier.


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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