The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: PAs and NPs in outpatient surgery

Ara A. Salibian, Hossein Mahboubi, Madhukar S. Patel, Edward C. Kuan, Darren J. Malinoski, Parsia A. Vagefi, Hamid R. Djalilian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine the prevalence and occupational characteristics of physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in outpatient surgical subspecialty clinics. Methods: The 2007 and 2008 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) databases were queried for the number and characteristics of offi ce visits seen by different provider types (PAs or NPs, physicians, or both) in various surgical subspecialties. Results: More than 250 million weighted sample visits were analyzed. PAs or NPs were involved in 5.9% of visits, though the percentage of patients seen by them alone (1.1%) was signifi cantly lower (P > 0.0001). PAs and NPs were more likely to be involved in pre-or postoperative visits, and often saw the same diagnoses alone as physicians only. The most common procedures performed by PAs and NPs varied according to subspecialty. Conclusions: PAs and NPs have a minor prevalence in the ambulatory surgical workforce during the time period studied. Further integration of these providers into the outpatient setting may help optimize effi ciency in ambulatory surgical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
  • Physician assistant
  • ambulatory surgical care
  • nurse practitioner
  • surgeons
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nurse Assisting


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