Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Physician associates

Building an evidence base for the primary care workforce

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 25 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k248
  1. Vari M Drennan, professor of healthcare and policy research1,
  2. Simon de Lusignan, professor of primary care and clinical informatics2,
  3. Heather Gage, professor of health economics2,
  4. Jon Gabe, professor of sociology3,
  5. Mary Halter, associate professor1
  1. 1Joint Faculty of Kingston University and St George’s University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK
  2. 2University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
  3. 3Royal Holloway University of London, Egham TW20 0EX, UK
  1. v.drennan{at}

Building an evidence base for the effects of different types of staff in general practice is challenging and takes time. McCartney is right to say that no evidence shows that physician associates make a difference to clinician stress and burnout.1 But more evidence is available than she suggests, which may be important at a time of considerable vacancies for …

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