Evaluation of emergency room visits of 2,505 patients seen by one physician in a rural community hospital during a three-year period demonstrated that approximately one third of the visits were truly urgent, and that approximately one half of the patients could have received medical care by a physician's assistant alone.
As the demand for emergency room services continues to increase out of proportion to the local population increase, new concepts for coverage need to be devised. Once need is established for more than one physician, a physician's assistant should be utilized as the second member of the team.
(JAMA 228:329-331, 1974)
Golomb HM, Herrold SR. An Alternative Staffing Proposal for Emergency Rooms: Three-Year Experience in a Rural Hospital. JAMA. 1974;228(3):329–331. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230280031026
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