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Expanding the Roles of Medical Assistants:  Who Does What in Primary Care?

Thomas Bodenheimer, MD1; Rachel Willard-Grace, MPH1; Amireh Ghorob, MPH1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Center for Excellence in Primary Care, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1025-1026. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1319.
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Adult primary care in the United States faces a dilemma. Many patients report poor access to their primary care clinician. Yet the growing demand for primary care leads to high levels of clinician burnout. A commonly voiced solution is to increase the numbers of adult primary care clinicians—physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. However, most workforce projections find that there will not be enough clinicians to meet the increasing demand.1 At the same time, many primary care activities do not require a clinician’s expertise, creating dissatisfied practitioners working well below their skill level. To meet the demand for primary care and to improve the work life of clinicians, it is sensible to redistribute responsibilities to other members of the primary care team.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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