Announcement of Public Workshop, "Examining Health Care Competition" ("Health Care Workshop") Project No. P13-1207 #00070

Submission Number:
Jon Sutton
Initiative Name:
Announcement of Public Workshop, "Examining Health Care Competition" ("Health Care Workshop") Project No. P13-1207
I would ask that the FTC consider PAs as well as NPs in their discussion of workforce issues. PAs attend a rigorous & accelerated graduate level program averaging 27 months in length after a 4 year science based BS degree and an average of 4 years of prior medical experience. In PA school students do the equivalent of 2/3rds of medical school in 1/2 the time. Per the dean of a New York med school, med students receive 650 hours of didactic training in 2 years, and physician assistants get 610 hours in 1 year. We both go on the do the same 10 rotations side by side, and are expected to practice medicine at the same level. In fact physician assistants are tested on the test questions submitted by the physicians who lecture and train them. PA's have a minimum of 2000 hours of clinical rotations through multiple specialties, equivalent in every way to the third year of medical school. NP's are required a minimum of 500 clinical hours of training, but do not train in the same 10 areas as physician and PA's but in the one area. At schools which have both PAs and MDs, the students are scheduled interchangeably for rotations. PAs can serve as primary care providers and work in all specialties.PAs frequently staff inner city and rural facilities without an MD on site. PA's are required to retest in the same 10 areas they and physicians train in, although physicians are only required to retest in the area they are practicing. NP's are not required to retest. Every consideration given to NPs in the future should also be extended to PAs. PA's are medically trained professionals, who are regulated, trained, mentored, tested by physicians who provide our lectures. At times these lectures are in fact given side by side with medical students who go on to continue training side by side with PA's at the same 10 clinical rotations taught via physician preceptors. By simple review of the training, clinical experience, retesting/recertification requirements of PA's and NP's, it makes little since to exclude PA's from any considerations given to NP's. Again I ask the FTC to include PA's discussion of workforce issues, extend to same consideration to both NP's and PA's, and or make the terms PA and NP interchangeable in in your works. Thank you-