Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

David Cone, MD

Second Advisor

Aaron Rhone, PhD, MPA


Objective: Recent evolution of the EMS system has resulted in an increased role for specially trained advanced clinicians (physicians, physician assistants, and registered nurses) in out-of-hospital field response. Despite this expansion into the out-of-hospital environment there is a lack of data regarding the actual clinical roles and activity of these clinicians in the United States. We seek to describe the clinical roles of advanced clinicians in the field through description of skills used during both 9-1-1 field responses and interfacility transports in the state of Pennsylvania. Methods: Our data were taken from existing Pennsylvania Department of Health EMS records for all 9-1-1 and interfacility requests for service from January 2018 through June 2020. Descriptive statistics were applied to skills used, medications administered, clinician activity data, and patient demographics for each clinician type in four response categories: 9-1-1 air, 9-1-1 ground, interfacility air, and interfacility ground. Results: A small number of clinicians completed the majority of calls across all clinician types. All clinician types were active and functioned at advanced life support (ALS) and specialty care levels. There were few statistically significant differences in skill or medication usage between clinician types. There were no statistically significant differences in level of skills (basic life support, ALS, or specialty skills) performed between clinician levels. Patient demographics for each clinician type were similar. Conclusions: Our findings indicate advanced clinicians provide care at the ALS and specialty care levels in similar patient populations with little difference in the roles between clinician types in the out-of-hospital environment. Our data demonstrate successful integration of advanced clinicians into the out-of-hospital environment in Pennsylvania and provide a framework for future planning and expansion of these roles and responsibilities. Keywords: prehospital, physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, clinical role, interfacility, out-of-hospital