We are about to get PAs (physician assistants) in our ER. They will staff part of the ER part of the day. They will probably take on more of the ER as time goes on. Big change. From what I understand, this is being done because our doctor group doesn't have enough docs to staff the several hospitals they cover.
I don't like this. Seems like docs should staff ERs. Here's the thing: You are not going to believe this but they don't give a shit what I think, here they come. Its reality. So I will adjust and so will everybody else.
However, I wonder if by employing PAs, doctors aren't cutting their own throats. Lets face it folks, the vast majority of ER medicine is not rocket science. With a little experience, you pretty much know what the problem is. So PAs will do fine with their background. In fact, I would say that PAs and NPs could easily staff most ERs with a doc to supervise and handle the critical cases.
So really, is this what the future holds? Perhaps. Health care costs will have to be cut. PAs and NPs are a lot cheaper, will cost hospitals less, insurance companies and medicare/medicaid less. You can pay a PA/NP maybe $125,000 versus and ER doc $250,000, thats a lot of savings.
Like I have thought for a while, the future of general practice is PA/NP and perhaps some specialty areas too.