A survey suggests that patients are open to seeing physician assistants and nurse practitioners -- and in many cases prefer to do so. The findings, published in Health Affairs, may boost efforts for these health care providers to address the growing gap between physician supply and patient demand for care. In an Association of American Medical Colleges survey of 2,053 people, when given a hypothetical scenario in which they had to choose a new primary care provider, nearly half of respondents (48.7%) indicated they would choose a PA or NP, or had no preference. When given a scenario in which they had a worsening cough and could see a PA or NP today or a physician tomorrow, nearly 60% opted to see the PA or NP, with 25% preferring to wait. Respondents who had recently seen a PA or NP were more open to seeing one, compared with those who had never seen a PA or NP. Read the abstract.

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