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November 16, 1970

Physician Support Personnel in the 70's-Economic Implications

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Health Services, Research, and Development, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1970;214(7):1301-1302. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180070067011

As accelerated demand continues to outstrip the supply of services in the 1970's, American medicine is confronted by two problems: (1) how to increase the availability of services, and (2) how to contain the rising prices. It has been suggested recently that the introduction of physician's assistants on a massive scale will help to solve the imbalance of supply and demand by first, increasing the number of personnel and second, expanding the efficiency of existing manpower. It is necessary to do both to meet the challenge of the 1970's.

When physicians recognize that they may increase their productivity and their number of patients through the utilization of assistants, additional demand for support personnel will be created. To those who doubt this concept, we need merely point out that it is not new in American medicine. Its prototype existed in many individual practices long before the formal establishment of physician's assistant