Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior Editor
To the Editor: Ms Philibert and colleagues1 note the importance in graduate medical education of adequate time for sleep, which was an impetus for the ACGME's restriction of duty hours for resident physicians. One option to address the resulting workforce issue would be to include physician assistants (PAs) in the inpatient teams of teaching hospitals. There were 4287 new PAs who graduated in 2001.2 For most of its 35-year history, the PA profession has focused on primary care and especially on providing care to underserved populations. However, as the profession expands and new health care needs become apparent, a growing number of PAs are practicing with physicians in inpatient and specialty areas.
Evans TC, Ballweg R. Limiting Residents' Work Hours. JAMA. 2002;288(23):2974. doi:10.1001/jama.288.23.2974-JLT1218-6-3