Physician associates are as good as GPs in treating same day patients but cost less, study finds

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Physician associates could be a solution to overburdened general practices, researchers have said, after they found that outcomes in patients seen by these health professionals were similar to those in patients seen by GPs and that they cost less to practices.

The researchers looked at the medical records of 2086 patients presenting for same day appointments at 12 general practices in England over four weeks in 2011 and 2012 (two weeks in winter and two weeks in summer) who were seen by a physician associate or GP. Physician associates have previously been known as physician assistants.

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