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May 11, 1970

Of Physician Assistants

JAMA. 1970;212(6):1057. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170190071012

Development of new categories of physicians' assistants as one method of increasing the supply of health services is of high interest currently. An example of such development is the program for training child health associates at the University of Colorado Medical Center, as described on page 1045 of this issue. Other innovative training programs for new categories of health personnel have been established and are described on pages 1047-1051 many of these programs are soundly based attempts to meet well-identified needs in specific areas.

Continued experimentation and innovation are needed in alleviating the shortage in provision of health services, and program sponsors are to be commended for their efforts in this direction. At the same time, however, care is needed to avoid locking new health occupations into rigid service roles by legislative regulation before sufficient documentation is made of the need for, and roles of, such workers in the health