It is often said on this sub that midlevels practice in rural settings to help alleviate the physician shortage. I’ve never personally believed that because, anecdotally, most midlevels that I know tend to move to major metropolitan centers. I found this census that shows that 15% of PAs worked in non-metropolitan areas. This is about what I expected and definitely opposes the narrative that midlevels work in rural areas. Additionally, the document also mentions that the states with the largest numbers of clinically practicing respondents are New York (8%), California (7%), Pennsylvania (6%), Texas (6%), North Carolina (5%), and Michigan (5%). Out of these, only Texas is in the bottom-20 states in terms of physicians per capita. This again goes to show that almost a third of PAs are practicing in states that are NOT among the most desperate for healthcare professionals.
The purpose of this post is not to start a conversation about midlevel training or midlevel “residency” compensation. I’d rather know your thoughts on these statistics about PA distribution and possible policies you have in mind that can help increase the number of PAs practicing in non-metropolitan areas.
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