To the Editor.—I am writing in response to the editorial "How Do You Do, Mrs Jones?" (Arch Surg 111:723, 1976). I was very pleased to see Dr Warren's realization of need for a practitioner to (at least) assist in ambulatory care clinics. I submit that such a practitioner already exists—the physician's assistant (PA).
All of the criteria listed by Dr Warren as being necessary for this practitioner are possessed by the PA, eg, knowledge of the job, the clinics, and the doctors, and the capability to deal with problems that are within his realm of expertise and to know when to refer to the physician those problems that aren't. Physician's assistants are currently working in physician's offices and on inpatient services as well as in clinics.
More important to the readers of the Archives is that there are PAs with specialty training in surgery and surgeon's assistants who function