Practice Matters

Advanced Practitioners: Collaborators in Radiation Oncology

P. Andrew Allred,(1) MS, PA-C, Maura N. Polansky,(2) MS, MHPE, PA-C, Kathryn Doerksen,(3) MSPAS, PA-C, and Steven H. Wei,(4) MS, MPH, PA-C

(1) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; (2) George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC; (3) Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, California; (4) The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

P. Andrew Allred, MS, PA-C, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. E-mail: paallred@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2019;10(8):873–877 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2019.10.8.8 | © 2019 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Advanced practitioners (APs), including physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), are medical professionals with advanced training, degrees, and certifications that qualify them to diagnose and treat medical conditions in a wide variety of health-care settings. As such, APs have been collaborators in radiation oncology practice for decades to complement the role of radiation oncologists. In 1999, Kelvin and Moore-Higgs first reported data on how APs participated in radiation oncology​ ​practice. Over the 20 years since that publication, more articles have​ ​described how APs have been collaborators to varying degrees in nearly all aspects of radiation oncology practice. However, significant legislative, regulatory, and educational barriers may limit the optimal practice of APs in radiation oncology. In order to mitigate projected shortages of radiation oncology services while maintaining high levels of patient satisfaction, enhanced collaboration with APs in radiation oncology practice is needed.




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