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Public Health Rep. 1984 Jan-Feb;99(1):84-7.

Factors affecting the use of surgical physician assistants.


The actual use of surgical physician assistants in 1979 and the expected use of them in 1984 by 552 general hospitals in the United States with 400 or more beds was assessed by means of a questionnaire mailed to the hospitals' surgical department chairmen. The influence of geographic and institutional variables upon this use was determined by multiple regression analysis. The most important determinants of actual use were the complexity of surgical care in the institution and its geographic location. Institutions with more complex surgical care and those located outside of the West were more likely to have used surgical physician assistants in 1979. Important determinants of the expected use of surgical physician assistants in 1984 appeared to be the complexity of surgical care and the degree of reliance upon foreign medical graduates (FMGs) in the surgical housestaff training program within the institution. Those surgical department chairmen in hospitals with a greater concentration of FMGs on their surgical housestaffs in 1979 anticipated a greater future role for surgical physician assistants.

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