Assistants, nurses help boost Idaho’s primary care

BOISE — Idaho is at the bottom of national rankings for doctors per capita, and many physicians in the state are expected to retire in the next several years.

But the Idaho Statesman reports that physician assistants and nurse practitioners are helping to fill the gap. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that while Idaho ranks dead last in the United States for primary care doctors per person, it’s tied for 14th for physician assistants and 45th for nurse practitioners.

Patrice Burgess, a family doctor for Saint Alphonsus Health System, says while the state’s primary care needs are not met, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are filling an important role.

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