Keeping the care in military health care
The purpose of this qualitative study is to interview some of today's military patient population and ask their feelings on the care they received from Physician Assistant's (PA) trained in the military and working in military medical facilities. Also, by using the Constant Comparison Method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), I will interpret if the medical care given to this population was adequate enough to question the affective factors, personality traits and bedside manner of these PA's. The analysis and outcome from these patient responses could warrant the addition of an interview to the selection process at the Inter-service Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) due to the concern that improper applicant selection made in the past may have resulted in poor medical care.
The military may also have made inferior decisions selecting individuals into a profession where certain affective qualities are very much needed. The results suggest that the patient population interviewed is happy with their health care and the PA's who take care of them. Findings also support the importance of an interview step in selecting candidates for PA school and its addition to the IPAP selection process. Analysis of subject responses, elicited during interviews, serve to illustrate the vital role PA's play in patient care and communications within the military medical system. However, based on my observations over thirteen years as an Army physician's assistant, these results are only the beginning of important research for military medicine, and I believe more research is needed on this topic.