With primary care physicians in short supply nationally, medical practices are increasingly turning to other medical professionals with different education and training to fill the gaps in care delivery. Now, evidence suggests that physician assistants are being targeted aggressively by clinic recruiters.

A clear sign of the growing importance of PAs in the clinical setting is the finding that, for the first time in 2013, they made the Top 10 most recruited list, according to data released by The Medicus Firm. The conclusion is an extrapolation of data from more than 200 hospitals and health systems, Medicus said.

Physician assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications, counsel on preventive health care and may assist in surgery.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.