Israeli Willingness to be Treated by a Physician Assistant

Oren Berkowitz, Roderick S. Hooker, Rachel Nissanholtz-Gannot, Avi Zigdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Are Israelis willing to be seen by a physician assistant (PA) instead of a doctor if they can save time? PAs were introduced into Israel emergency departments 2 years prior to this study and few if any knew about them. A survey containing a series of scenarios involving hypothetical injuries was electronically distributed in 2019; over 7000 Israeli citizens responded. They were asked to choose between seeing a PA within half an hour or waiting for a doctor (MD) in 4 h. Over 90% of the respondents chose the PA and preferences changed slightly as the time gap narrowed to 2 h. A large majority picked the PA in all three scenarios. Parsing the respondents by age, gender, and health conditions revealed little statistical differences. There was a positive correlation between the perceived urgency of the situation and choosing the PA as respondents were more likely to see a PA in more stressful scenarios (e.g., a child’s head laceration). These results suggest that most Israelis would be willing to accept care from a healthcare provider, in this case the PA, who is not a doctor, if they sense value added in the encounter, such as quicker access to care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1283-1290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Choice
  • Patient preference
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Time trade-off


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