Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Joyce, Alexander 2023 Employment of PAs in Ireland.pdf (930.42 kB)

A survey exploring factors affecting employment of physician associates in Ireland

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-23, 16:16 authored by Pauline JoycePauline Joyce, Lisa Alexander

Background: In the Republic of Ireland, the employment of physician associates (PAs) is growing. Following a pilot project in a hospital setting, PAs are now employed across primary and secondary care in public and private sectors. Most of the Irish PA graduates are working in hospital settings.

Aims: The aim of the study was to explore factors which supported or inhibited the employment of PAs in Irish hospital settings and the perceived supports or challenges for potential employers in recruiting PAs.

Methods: An online survey gathered data via human resources departments of public and private hospitals, with a 25% response rate.

Results: Similar to previous studies, the barriers included the lack of recognition and regulation of the role and the small number of PAs to fill available posts. Enablers, which influenced the employment of PAs, included improving workflow, continuity of care and helping to address junior doctors' working hours.

Conclusions: Our data suggests that there is a keen interest and willingness to employ PAs and there is great potential to expand the role in Irish healthcare. However, there are some key issues around funding and recognition to be addressed at government level for this profession to highlight its worth.


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Published Citation

Joyce P, Alexander L. A survey exploring factors affecting employment of physician associates in Ireland. Ir J Med Sci. 2023;192(5):2041-2046

Publication Date

5 January 2023

PubMed ID



  • Physician Associate Programme

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education


Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland


  • Published Version (Version of Record)