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Commentary from the front lines: American physician assistants working in a United Kingdom emergency department
  1. J S Smith,
  2. B Tevis,
  3. K Murali
  1. Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital, NHS Trust, Lyndon, West Bromwich, West Midlands, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 J S Smith
 Emergency Department Physician Assistant, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust, Lyndon, West Bromwich, West Midlands B71 4HJ, UK;


Physician assistants (PAs) have been an integral part of the emergency medicine team in the USA for the past 30 years. This review outlines the reasons why PAs can play a vital role in UK National Health Service (NHS). The experience of American PAs working in one NHS trust are discussed, highlighting the cultural differences in the environment of the emergency departments in the two countries that will influence the scope of practice of PAs in the UK.

  • A&E, accident and emergency
  • PA, physician assistant
  • SHO, senior house officer
  • Emergency department
  • physician assistant
  • UK
  • USA

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  • Competing interests: none declared