Posted on Nov 29, 2019
Alan Empson welcomed our guest speakers,
Physician Assistants, Tiffany Hodgson and Jackie Sartorius. Both these young women work for the Te Awamutu Medical Centre.
Tiffany grew up in Alaska and then her family moved to Hawaii.
Jackie grew up in Indonesia, moved to Java, the US and then to Townsville in Australia. Tiffany has been in NZ for nine years and has a Kiwi husband and two children born here. Jackie and her husband have been in NZ for one year.
Both Tiffany and Jackie started their working lives in other disciplines and went into Physician Assistant training later.  • Physician Assistant training is a relatively new venture in the US. Training is carried out over 27 intensive months covering 70% of medical training programme.  
2010-13 there were 15 pilot programmes being carried out in NZ.  • After WW2, there was a shortage of doctors so navy and army medics were fast-tracked to work in medicine under supervision.  
1960’s 6 students graduated in US, now there are 130,000.  
A PA can do examinations, diagnosis, heath plans, but is not able to prescribe medicines. Attached to a doctor they can work as a team and enable more patients to be seen.  
With a shortage of doctors wanting to work in rural areas, PA’s could be a valuable asset in community medicine.  • PA need to re-sit exams every six years and undertake on-going training.  
Both Tiffany and Jackie are part of a national body promoting best practice and ultimately training for PA’s in NZ  
Michael Cox thanked Tiffany and Jackie for their very informative and well-presented account of the life and work of a Physician Assistant in Te Awamutu. We wish them both every success in their on-going work here in New Zealand.