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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2010, Article ID 975016, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/975016
Research Article

Physician Assistant Distribution in Texas-Mexico Border Counties: Public Health Implications

1Department of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Suite V4.114, Dallas, TX 75390-9090, USA
2The University of Queensland School of Medicine Mayne Medical School, Building 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia

Received 1 September 2010; Accepted 13 December 2010

Academic Editor: Ike S. Okosun

Copyright © 2010 P. Eugene Jones and Karen E. Mulitalo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. Texas Medical Board physician assistant (PA) data were assessed to assist workforce education and planning strategies for PA programs in regions with high percentages of Hispanic populations. Methods. Data were assessed for gender, ethnicity, program attended and current employment addresses within the 14 Texas-Mexico border counties. Results. Of the 329 border county PAs, 227 self-reported as Hispanic (69%), and 53% were female. Remarkably, 72% of all Hispanic PAs attended two of the six public Texas PA Programs. Conclusions. The Sullivan Commission report of 2004 concluded that the primary cause of poor public health care for minorities resulted from unequal representation of minorities in the health care professions. Two public Texas PA programs have made substantial contributions to public health care access in poverty-stricken border areas by educating and placing Hispanic PAs within medically underserved communities.