Apr 1, 1979
Discusses the adequacy of military physician assistants' (PAs) pay under two grade options: warrant officer and commissioned officer. Military career pay profiles are compared with estimated civilian experience-earnings profiles. These estimated civilian earnings profiles are estimated from 1978 earnings data collected by the Association of Physician Assistant Programs. Because military PAs are relatively well qualified, the earnings estimates are based on a sample of comparably qualified civilian PAs. Comparisons of military and potential civilian earnings profiles under the two grade options, assuming varying amounts of pre-PA military service, fail to provide conclusive support for either commissioning or warrant officer status. However, the comparisons do suggest that, if the other military services wish to follow the Air Force's lead and intensively employ PAs, commissioning may be needed to guarantee an adequate supply of qualified PAs.