Number of Certified Physician Assistants Grows Over 35 Percent in Five Years

PAs Caring for Over 7 Million Patients Weekly Across Every State
and Specialty

JOHNS CREEK, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A just released report representing data from over 93 percent of all
certified PAs in the U.S. points to rapid growth in the profession,
which currently has almost 109,000 certified PAs practicing across every
state, specialty and clinical setting. Highlights of the 2015
Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants

  • Over 70 percent of certified PAs work in specialties outside of
    primary care, including over 18 percent in surgical subspecialties and
    13 percent in emergency medicine.
  • The states with the largest number of PAs per capita are Alaska, South
    Dakota, Pennsylvania, Maine and New York, showing that they are in
    high demand in both populous and rural areas.
  • It is a young profession and the median age of certified PAs is 38.
  • Over 22 percent of PAs communicate with patients in a second language.
    Over 81 percent of those PAs are speaking to patients in Spanish.
  • Full time PAs treat an average of 75 patients a week in their
    principal clinical position. All PAs cumulatively care for over 7
    million patients weekly.
  • More than 13 percent of certified PAs work in a second clinical
    position, averaging 10 hours a week and treating 22 patients in that

The report, released by the National Commission on Certification of
Physician Assistants (NCCPA), is the most comprehensive data available
anywhere, with profile information compiled from over 101,000 certified

“What it tells us is that certified PAs are an integral part of today’s
healthcare system, opening up much-needed access to care for all
populations,” says Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D, PA-C, president and CEO of
NCCPA. “The ever increasing demand, as evidenced by the fact that PA
degree programs are expected to grow from 199 today to 273 in 2020,
means that certified PAs will continue to step up and fill the
healthcare gaps wherever they exist. “

About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

The National
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
is the
only certifying organization for physician assistants (PAs) in the
United States. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who
fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification
requirements. There are more than 108,500 certified PAs in the U.S.


Mary Rittle, Public Relations Manager