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Comment & Response
May 21, 2020

Value of Oncology Pharmacists in the Oncology Health Care Workforce

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Touro University California, Vallejo, California
JAMA Oncol. Published online May 21, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.1288

To the Editor We read with great interest the recent Viewpoint by Shulman and colleagues1 in JAMA Oncology on the oncology workforce and the use of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). They state, “Nurse practitioners and physician assistants could play greater roles in co-management of patients receiving active therapy, managing symptoms and treatment of toxic effects, and caring for long-term cancer survivors.” Based on an Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies report, NPs and PAs have been providing care and lightening the patient visit load for more than 10 years.2 Bruinooge and colleagues3 performed a 2019 study evaluating the roles of these advanced practice providers. This study identified 14 clinical activities performed by NPs and PAs and recommended collaborative practice agreements with oncology physicians. Even with these practitioners involved in co-managing the care of patients with cancer, there may still be a shortfall in patient visits.1,3

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