The physician’s assistant profession: Results of a 1978 survey of graduates

Henry B. Perry, Donald W. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors describe the major findings of a 1978 national survey of 4,500 physician’s assistants. Seventy-four percent of the respondents were working in primary care specialties, and two-thirds were located primarily in institutions rather than private practice settings. Almost half (47 percent) of the respondents were working in communities of fewer than 50,000 persons. Physician’s assistants were more likely than physicians to be working in nonurban areas. The average income of a physician’s assistant in 1978 was $17,611, and there was little variation by major specialty or practice-setting categories. Since 1974 there appeared to have been a shift within the profession toward employment in family practice, in institutional settings, and in urban areas. There also had been a notable increase in numbers of women, persons with more extensive educational backgrounds, and persons with civilian allied health backgrounds in the physician’s assistant profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-845
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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