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Newly Released Data on Certified PAs Working in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care Demonstrate Their Significant Contributions to Patient Care


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Erica Banks, Senior Director of Communications
email: [email protected]
phone: 470-779-3111

Johns Creek, Ga., May 18, 2022- The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), in collaboration with the Society of Emergency Medicine PAs (SEMPA) have published the PAs Practicing in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care: 2021 Survey Results. Over 16,000 Certified PAs practice in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care, and this report comprises the most comprehensive source of nationwide data on PAs working in these practice areas.

The report provides data on topics such as education and training, attributes of positions, patient cases seen by Certified PAs and routine tasks performed, professional benefits and compensation, and important factors for being a Certified PA in these specialties.

Highlights of key findings from the report include:

  • Certified PAs practice in all U.S. regions, with the largest proportion (33.7%) in the South. The majority of the respondents (88.7%) practice in Emergency Medicine, and 6.4% practice in Urgent Care.
  • Almost three-fourths of the PAs responding to the survey indicated they received a master’s degree when graduating from their PA educational program, and just over half of the respondents obtained additional master’s or doctoral degrees beyond their PA educational program.
  • Almost half (45.3%) of the PAs reported they practice in a non-academic hospital, while 30.3% indicated they work in an academic/teaching hospital. Of the total PAs working in these two hospital settings, 52.5% stated they work in the main emergency department.
  • 22% of Certified PAs in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care practice in rural areas.
  • PAs have a significant impact on health care. On a daily basis, 96% of Certified PAs engage in basic diagnostics, and 24.8% perform more advanced tasks such advanced wound management weekly.
  • Developing and maintaining strong PA/physician relationship was important to an overwhelming majority (96.5%) of PAs.
  • With the increased health care demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not surprising that 95.5% of Certified PAs noted the importance of managing work stress.

“The vast data provided in this report provides important information that can be used by policy makers, employers, PAs, and others,” said NCCPA President and CEO Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed.D., PA-C. “It demonstrates the contributions PAs working in emergency medicine and urgent care make, as well as highlights the non-clinical aspects such as the training, compensation, and benefits PAs receive in their current role.”

Philip DaVisio, DMSc, CAQ-EM, PA-C, president of SEMPA, added, “We were pleased to collaborate with NCCPA on what we believe is the most in depth report on Certified PAs practicing in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care, especially during the pandemic, when these frontline PAs continue to be so vital to providing care for patients. This report provides a complete picture of PAs working in these practice disciplines.”

About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only certifying organization for the more than 148,560 Certified PAs* in the United States and abroad. The PA-C credential is awarded by NCCPA to PAs who fulfill certification, certification maintenance and recertification requirements. NCCPA also administers the Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) program for experienced, Certified PAs practicing in seven specialties. For more information, visit

About the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants

The Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA) is the largest member organization solely dedicated to physician assistants working in emergency medicine. Founded in 1990, SEMPA offers education, CME, practice resources, advocacy, emergency medicine news and benefits designed to help its members in their practice of emergency medicine and in providing the highest quality of patient care. For more information, visit