JAAPA Musings: Why doesn’t the PA profession produce more research?

JAAPA Musings blog headerEach month, a member of the JAAPA Editorial Board writes a blog post about a topic of their choosing.  Here we feature Richard W. Dehn, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA, writing about “Why doesn’t the PA profession produce more research?” The post appeared in JAAPA Monday, January 15, 2018, here.

PAs and PA leaders often ask for published articles that might support a specific viewpoint about the profession or to “prove” the profession’s value in the healthcare delivery system. Typically, I end up feeling like the pessimist in the room when I have to explain that more often than not, the requested published data on PAs do not exist. Why does the PA profession lack published research on itself and its contributions to American healthcare? This is a complicated question with no one simple answer.

Likely one important factor is the relative youth of the profession. Other healthcare professions that we observe as having a richer body of literature, for example, allopathic medicine, are relatively mature professions with long-established academic and research processes. One would hope that as our profession matures, we would diversify into supporting more PA research. However, several factors contribute to our current lack of published research. Read more.