Results of Physician Questionnaire

B-146858: Published: Feb 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1983.

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A survey was conducted of physicians assigned to seven military hospitals to obtain their opinions concerning conditions influencing the quality of medical care. An area of particular interest was the physician assistant (PA) programs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Physicians are substantially dissatisfied with the adequacy of PA staffing levels. Comments from officials at some military hospitals were complimentary of the PA's work and indicate that, if more PAs were available, they could absorb more of the physicians' workloads. All three services believed PAs could do much of the work now done by physicians. As a result of a Rand Corporation study to determine the most appropriate mix of physicians and physician extenders in the Air Force medical facilities, the following benefits from use of PAs are suggested: achieving cost savings through greater use of PAs in health care roles usually assumed by physicians; alleviating the shortage of general medical officers; and diminishing the complaints from physicians that they spend too much time treating routine ailments.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The scope of the Rand study should be examined to determine whether the final results can be applied to the Army and Navy. If the results are not useful, the Department of Defense should consider broadening the scope of the study to determine the optimum mix of physicians and physician extenders in different hospital settings of all three services.

    Agency Affected:


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