The Texas health workforce benefit of military physician assistant program veterans

P. Eugene Jones, Roderick S. Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Little is known about the benefits to society of the educational development of health personnel in the military who return to civilian life and continue their careers. The US Department of Defense has produced physician assistants (PAs) since the early 1970s, and PA training is now consolidated into one location in Texas as the Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP). We studied redistribution of PAs upon service departure to determine if IPAP attendance had an effect on the Texas PA workforce. Methods: The Texas Medical Board dataset of licensed PAs was examined to identify program attended, practice specialty by supervising physician designation, practice location, and primary care or specialty care practice designation. Primary care was defined as family medicine, general pediatrics, or general internal medicine. All other designations were classified as specialty practice. Results: Of 6,016 licensed Texas PAs, 425 (7.0%) reported attending a military PA training program. Of the 254 PAs in full-time civilian clinical practice, 148 (58.3%) reported practice in primary care settings, and 106 (41.7%) reported specialty clinical practice settings. Discussion: With the average military officer retirement age of 47 years and the 2010 average US retirement age of 64 years for men and 62 for women, an estimated 16 years of community workforce producti - vity is provided per veteran PA following completion of military service. We estimated over 47,000 outpatient visits are provided per PA following military service. The care provided can be measured as a positive return-on-investment of taxpayer-provided education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume24
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 19 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription

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