Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Katie Kassin, PA-C

Second Advisor

Nancy Trimble, PA-C, DMS

Third Advisor

William Schweinle, PhD


PA, OTP, autonomy, supervision, collaboration

Subject Categories

Health Policy | Medicine and Health Sciences


Optimal team practice (OTP) is a policy meant to modernize physician assistant (PA) practice laws, and one of the most controversial associated changes is removing the requirement for a PA to have a supervisory/collaborative agreement with a physician. In South Dakota (SD), there have been three OTP-related bills that failed to pass during their respective legislative sessions: House Bill 1163 from 2021, Senate Bill 134 from 2022, and Senate Bill 175 from 2023. This study was conducted as a survey consisting of 11 questions administered to SD PAs. The goal of this survey study was to determine PA understanding/disposition towards OTP-related changes in SD. The results suggest that SD PAs are generally supportive of OTP-related changes. Among the 51 respondents who completed the survey, 82.4% are moderately or completely agreeable to removing the requirement for an experienced PA to have a signed agreement and specific relationship with a physician. However, less than 30% of respondents advocated or were involved with OTP legislation at the state level, suggesting low engagement among SD PAs. Finding ways to increase involvement in the SD PA community, engaging nurse practitioner and physician colleagues, and proposing a strong OTP legislative bill while emphasizing the safety and benefits of OTP may be helpful in successfully modernizing SD PA practice laws.



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