"You can't argue, with another 20 million to 30 million people in the system, that there aren't enough patients to go around," Department of Physician Assistant Studies Chairman Lawrence Herman, PA-C, tells Long Island Business News (subscription required) in an article about the growing role of physician assistants in health care, due in large part to the Affordable Care Act. "It's not like we're struggling to find customers."
In "The Physician Assistant Will See You Now," Herman says about 93,000 physician assistants practice in the United States. New York State has more than 20 physician assistant education programs that train about 1,000 PAs a year. The job outlook for physician assistants is excellent; employment in the field is expected to rise 30% by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Herman, who is also president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, says he helps educate his patients about physician assistants, the rigorous education they receive, and the work they do, including medical testing, diagnosis, prescribing medicine, and patient care.
"I correct my patients all the time," says Herman. "They call me 'doctor.' One of the expressions my patients use with me is: 'I know you're not my doctor, but you do my doctoring.'"