The Physician's Assistant
THE SHORTAGE, maldistribution, and inefficient use of physicians, particularly primary physicians, recently has received much attention, Suggested solutions focus either on increasing the number of physicians or on improving the efficiency with which primary medical care services are produced. The number of physicians can be increased by enlarging the class size in medical schools, by establishing more medical schools, or by shortening the training period. These solutions involve an expansion of the current system without basic changes. Solutions that require basic changes in the delivery of medical care include increasing the physician's efficiency through ,,·the use of assistants, analyzing and . reorganizing the physician's tasks, and changing his role as the primary person who interacts with' the patient.