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Nationwide PA Growth Boosts Health Care Delivery

Statistical Profile of Board Certified PAs by State

From 2018 to 2022, the number of Board Certified PAs in the U.S. grew by 28%, resulting in an increase from 40 to 50 PAs per 100,000 population during this period, according to a new report.

The latest report released by NCCPA, titled “2022 Statistical Profile of Board Certified PAs by State,” highlights the significant growth in the PA profession and its impact in the delivery of health care throughout the U.S.

“This growth is especially vital in addressing health care disparities,” said NCCPA President and CEO Dawn Morton-Rias, EdD, PA-C, ICE-CCP, FACHE. “PAs are expanding their presence in underserved areas and increasingly using telemedicine to bridge care gaps.”

Telemedicine adoption surged nationwide from 9% to 40% since 2018. Alaska leads the way, with 59% of PAs leveraging virtual care to enhance patient access.

States like Alaska and New Mexico showcase the role of PAs in bridging care gaps, with 54% of PAs delivering care in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and/or Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs).

“It is encouraging to see that during the past five years, the PA profession has grown by as much as 48% in Mississippi, historically a medically underserved state where patients struggle with access to care,” Morton-Rias said.

In 2022, state medical boards reported a 29% increase in the number of licenses issued, totaling 203,924 — taking into consideration that some PAs are licensed by multiple state boards.

Additional key findings:

– The flexibility of changing specialties is a hallmark of the PA profession and 54% of PAs have changed specialties at least once, with 23% making two to three changes. West Virginia and New Mexico lead with 13.2% of PAs changing specialties four or more times.

– PAs noted a 26% increase in clinical opportunities, with Rhode Island and New Mexico reporting the highest percentages.

– Oklahoma and Ohio lead in career satisfaction, with 90.7% and 89.3%, respectively, and a median of 87% of PAs reporting satisfaction with their PA career overall. 83.6% express satisfaction with their present job, with Indiana and Louisiana leading with 86.8% and 86.1%, respectively.

– Nationally, 43.1% of PAs report no educational debt. States with the highest percentage of PAs without any educational debt are Alaska (58.2%), North Dakota (52.6%) and South Dakota (52.4%). However, states with highest percentages of individuals with a total educational debt of $100,000 or more are Mississippi (41.9%), Massachusetts (38.1%) and New Hampshire (37.9%).

– More than half of PAs (52.4%) report working on weekends and evenings. Connecticut (64.5%), New Jersey (63%) and New York (61.9%) lead in extended work hours, while Arkansas (36%) and North Dakota (38.3%) have the lowest percentages.

– Nearly 6% of PAs indicated they aim to retire in the next five years, with Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska leading in retirement plans.

Click to download a PDF of the 2022 Statistical Profile of Board Certified PAs by State.