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When a medical-malpractice lawsuit hits a hospital, clinic or private practice, the facility and the physician are not the only ones at risk. Physician assistants and other “physician extenders” can be targeted alongside a physician or facility when suits are filed.

What’s more, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the number of physician assistants will grow 39 percent by 2018. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), as patients and lawyers realize the prominent role that physician assistants have in patient care, physician assistants are at increasing risk of being targeted in medical-malpractice lawsuits.

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