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Newly Released Data on PAs Working in Medically Underserved Areas

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Alicia Quella, Director of Communications
phone: 470-682-5111

Johns Creek, Ga., February 27, 2023 –the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) has published the 2021 Statistical Profile of Certified PAs by State. Data from almost 134,000 PAs are included in the report, making it the most comprehensive source of information on PAs in the United States.

The report provides data from each state on topics such as race/ethnicity, income, specialty practice areas, and settings, use of telemedicine, job satisfaction, burnout, retirement plans, and more. New to the report this year is information on PAs who practice in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs).

Highlights of key findings from the report include:

  • Over half of the PAs residing in New Mexico provide care to patients in HPSAs or MUAs. Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, and Wyoming are all over 40%.
  • States with the largest PA population are New York, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida. Rhode Island, Mississippi, and Indiana had the highest growth rate for the 2017-2021 timeframe.
  • Overall, 23.7% of PAs work in primary care, but it is significantly higher in Alaska (47.4%), North Dakota (44.1%), and Wyoming (42.6%).
  • PA participation in telemedicine has grown from 8.4% in 2017 to 33.6% in 2021.
  • There are 12 states where more than half of PAs reported practicing in the hospital setting—the highest proportions were for Maine (57.7%), Massachusetts (57.6%), Connecticut (57.3%), and New York (57.2%).
  • PAs working in Nevada reported the highest average number of patients seen per week at 94, followed by California with 83.
  • New Mexico has the most PAs who indicate they are of Hispanic, Latino(a) or Spanish origin (21.6%).
  • Overall, 5.4% of PAs plan to retire in the next five years, with levels ranging as high as 13.9% in North Dakota to as low as 1.4% in Mississippi.
  • Over 40% of PAs in fifteen states are the primary provider for their own patient panel.

The Federation of State Medical Boards collaborated with NCCPA to provide the number of licenses issued to PAs by state. As of December 31, 2021, the FSMB reported a total of 189,605 current PA licenses.

“We are pleased to share this report that contains an extraordinary amount of data on the PA profession and demonstrates the extensive healthcare contributions PAs make throughout our country,” said President and CEO Dawn Morton-Rias. “Including the five-year comparisons shows the changes and growth of the PA profession over time.”


About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

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