Is there a role for physician assistants in community mental health?

David Pollack, Sandra M. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors briefly describe the history and development of the medical discipline of physician assistants (PAs). A careful review of the literature reveals the limited use of PAs in psychiatry, usually only for primary health care needs. A model for using PAs as psychiatric assistants is presented, including the training required and a description of the clinical and administrative functions. The advantages of such a model are multiple. These include: 1) more effective and efficient use of the psychiatrist; 2) reduced costs of service; 3) increased primary medical screening capability in the CMHC; and 4) increased presence of ethnic minorities on the professional staff of the CMHC. Disadvantages of the model relate to training and 'turf' issues. In view of the shortage and dissatisfaction of psychiatrists in CMHC settings, and other challenges to the provision of quality mental health care in the community, this model should be considered as a logical and positive response to that challenge. If the model is valid, then training facilities must make a systematic effort to recruit, train, and place psychiatric physician assistants in community agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Physician Assistants
assistant
Psychiatry
Mental Health
Community Mental Health Centers
mental health
physician
community
psychiatrist
health care
Quality of Health Care
psychiatry
national minority
shortage
Primary Health Care
History
staff
Costs and Cost Analysis
history
costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Is there a role for physician assistants in community mental health? / Pollack, David; Ford, Sandra M.

In: Community Mental Health Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, 1998, p. 209-219.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pollack, David ; Ford, Sandra M. / Is there a role for physician assistants in community mental health?. In: Community Mental Health Journal. 1998 ; Vol. 34, No. 2. pp. 209-219.
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