2016 Physician Assistant Workforce Fact Sheet
Physician assistants (PAs) are medical practitioners who work under the supervision of a licensed physician. They play a vital role in the health care system by performing physical examinations, making diagnoses, and prescribing treatment to patients. In addition to these general responsibilities, PAs order and interpret laboratory tests, including X-rays, as well as suturing, splinting, and casting injuries. The physician assistant role was created in the 1960s to reducing barriers to accessing health care that had resulted from the increasing shortage or maldistribution of physicians, particularly in rural and underserved communities. Data on the PA workforce is critical to understanding capacity of this workforce in Indiana.