Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Staveteig, Mindy


physician assistant, physician associate, emergency department, emergency medicine, emergency service, hospital, cost, effectiveness, cost effectiveness, patient outcome, patient satisfaction, history, and role


The emergency department is at the core of healthcare in western medicine. It is commonly the first site of patient contact prior to admission or surgical intervention. Management of admission and discharge from the ED is integral to efficient flow of hospital operation. The critical operation of the ED has long acted as a barrier for the application of advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) from being heavily utilized in this setting. As healthcare costs, physician shortages, and the acceptance of APPs has increased over time, EDs have increased their utilization of APPs. However, there remains concerns regarding the utilization of APPs in the ED. The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate the performance of APPs, specifically PAs, in the setting of the ED. Relevant recent peer reviewed studies were collected and analyzed for relevancy to the topic. This systemic review finds that utilization of PAs in the ED is a cost-effective decision that results in no significant change to patient outcomes or efficiency metrics when compared to physicians.