Publication Date



School of Health Sciences


Exercise Science: Pre-Professional


Physician, Physician Assistant, Communication


Health Communication


Communication is imperative to the success of any team-based organization. In healthcare, it is common for patient outcomes to be affected by variables including but not limited to the quality of extraprofessional communication. Physicians and physician assistants are two meaningful and valued members of the medical care team, and the need for collaboration amongst each other is irrefutable. Physicians are the trusted leaders of any medical team, having completed the most amount of schooling and training. Physician assistants are versatile, economically advantageous, and skill-proficient mid-level practitioners that are required by law to be supervised by a collaborating physician. The working partnership of physicians and their physician assistants requires a consistent, adept communication structure in order to function in a successful capacity. Based on research, it is concluded that insufficient communication patterns between physicians and physician assistants are commonly seen in the healthcare setting, indicating that immediate reform is necessary. Recommendations for reform in physician- physician assistant communication include pursuing extraprofessional education, placing emphasis on the medical team as its own entity rather than a team of individuals, and establishing a culture of extraprofessional trust.