Jeff Nicholson Medical Malpractice Expert Physician Assistant Expert Witness Physician Expert Witness Physician Assistants
Jeff Nicholson Jeff Nicholson

History of the PA Experts Network (PAEN)

Working in PA Education and in state and national PA leadership for many years, Jeffrey Nicholson possess an intimate knowledge of the PA profession. When he became Director of the University of Wisconsin PA Program in 2001, he was approached by a Wisconsin insurance company to give an opinion on the medical care provided by a PA and his supervising physician. Since that time, requests for his assistance from insurance companies and attorneys around the nation have increased to the point where the need for a Network of competent PAs in all medical specialties became obvious. The idea of developing a PA expert database in all specialities was an easy one.  Saving attorneys' time by locating qualified PA Experts that meet the particulars of each case is a service that he is well-positioned to provide.  In addition to his prior leadership experience in the profession, he is also the president of the American Academy of PAs in Legal Medicine, a caucus of the national PA professional organization.  The organization collects data on PAs nationwide who have been involved in reviewing cases, it provide education to PAs on the litigation process, on working with attorneys, and on providing deposition and testimony.  Dr. Nicholson and this organization also educate fellow practicing PAs on their own liability and risk management. Dr. Nicholson continues to provide services as a PA Expert Witness, but he also now manages a network of dozens of other highly qualified PAs and NPs who have experience doing the same from multiple specialties in nearly every state

Dr. Nicholson's further qualification that sets him above all other PA legal consultants is his scholarly research on PA clinical practice safety, forming the basis of his groundbreaking PhD dissertation in 2008, the first comprehensive comparison of PA practice safety to that of physicians and advanced pratice nurse clinicians.

Medical Expert Witness



  • Distinguished Fellow, American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • President, American Academy of Physician Assistants in Legal Medicine
  • Board of Directors, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Board of Directors, Hillside Health Care International Mission Clinic
  • Director of PA Education, St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Department
  • Fellow, Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants
  • Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Marquette University Dept. of PA Studies
  • Adjunct Clinical Faculty University of Wisconsin PA Program
  • Adjunct Clinical Faculty Carrol University PA Program
  • Membership Commission - American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • President - PA Experts Network Medico-legal Consulting, LLC
  • Owner and manager of a Family Practice and Urgent Care Clinic



Ph.D.: Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Dissertation: A Retrospective Study of Medical Malpractice and Safety Comparing Physician Assistants to Physicians and Advanced Practice Nurses. :4.0 GPA in Ph.D. program.

B.S. Bachelor of Science - Physician Assistant, May, 1992.


M.Ed. Master of Education - Concentrations in International Development and Education Administration. Magna Cum Laude, June, 1989.


M.P.A.S. Master of Physician Assistant Studies, May, 2005.


B.S. Bachelor of Science - Double Major: Biology and Philosophy

Magna Cum Laude, June, 1984.




Emergency Room Services - Care On Demand, Brookfield, WI Full time urgent and emergent care since October, 2010

St. Josephs Hospital Emergency Department Milwaukee, WI
Full time emergency medicine and urgent care clinical practice July - Nov. 2006 and Nov. 2007 to October 2010. Part time emergency medicine and urgent care clinical practice at at St. Joseph and other ERs in Milwaukee. Also part time Er and UC from Jan.,1997 through June, 2006 at the sites below. Forty hours average work in emergency medicine and urgent care per month during that period. .
St. Josephs Hospital Emergency Department Milwaukee, WI
Stoughton Hospital Emergency Department Stoughton, WI
Mercy Hospital Emergency Department Janesville, WI
The Monroe Clinic Emergency Department Monroe, WI
Meriter Hospital Emergency Department Madison, WI
Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Prairie du Sac, WI


Physician Associates of Wisconsin, SC,  Milwaukee, WI
Founder, manager and part-time clinician provider of a low-cost community service family practice
and urgent care clinic designed to meet the needs of the uninsured, from 6/1/13-8/31/14.

The Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital Milwaukee, WI
Responsibilities included the provision of all aspects of primary medical care to a complex patient population. Providers included six physicians, two physician assistants, a nurse and two medical assistants. Managerial responsibilities included the oversight of clinic staff including a physician assistant, nurse, medical assistants, scheduling of medical staff and providers, staff evaluations, ordering of supplies, patient tracking, development of patient care initiatives. This clinic closed due to cessation of the Milwaukee County "GAMP" insurance program at MCW. Dec. 2006 – Nov. 2007

Family Practice Medical Clinic, Branch of Central Plains Clinic Ltd., Beresford, SD
One of two full time certified Physician Assistants, working independently of direct MD supervision,managing the full spectrum of general practice patients in a rural, medically underserved setting - all aspects of family practice and primary care including emergency medical services. Basic radiology and laboratory evaluation also performed independently of support staff while on-call. Management of nursing home patients and weekly nursing home rounds included. MD on site and 10% chart review approximately one-half day per week. June, 1992 - June, 1994.


Responsibilities included oversight of overall operations of a mission clinic in Belize, Central America. Specific duties included the continued development of an international health education program for medical students, medical residents, physician assistant students, nurses and therapists from around the world; recruitment of long term volunteer medical staff, physicians, nurses, therapist; public relations, fund raising; oversight of the Belizean clinic employees; collaboration with US and Belizean organizational partners including educational institutions, the Belize Ministry of Health, and NGOs; and the provision of leadership and reporting to the U.S. board of directors. CEO from July, 2006 – June, 2007. Current board member and fundraiser. Milwaukee, WI

University of Wisconsin Medical School - Physician Assistant Program Madison, WIResponsibilities included management of all aspects of a twenty-four month PA program for sixty-six students including program accreditation, direct oversight of 12 faculty and staff, securing funding, managing budget, student admissions, and teaching both didactic and clinical curriculum. Annual budget near $1M. Accomplishments have included leading the program to the highest accreditation ranking in its history, development of the nation’s only sustainable distance education program for PA certification, development of interdisciplinary partnerships and programs, acquisition and management of $1.5M in grant funding for new program initiatives, and leadership of the transition of the PA program from a bachelor’s to a master’s degree program. July 2001 through June, 2006.

University of Wisconsin Medical School - Physician Assistant Program Madison, WI
Responsibilities included the development and management of student clinical preceptorships, oversight of clinical faculty, curriculum preparation, student clinical supervision and evaluation, classroom and on-site teaching, grant acquisition and management, faculty development, and professional research.

Significant leadership role in program initiatives. Major accomplishments included the development of a network of 150 clinical preceptorship sites including the program’s first international clinical opportunities and development of the program’s first electronic database to manage clinical preceptor appointments, site availability and student assignments. November, 1996 – July 2001.

University of Texas - Southwestern, Physician Assistant Program Dallas, TX

Similar duties and responsibilities as employed at the University of Wisconsin. Additional clinical work performed three-four days per month in adult ambulatory medicine at a community oriented primary care clinic. July, 1994 - October, 1996.

Concilio Hispano Incorporated Cambridge, MA
Responsibilities included the creation and management of English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and Immigration Programs for Hispanics and other linguistic minorities; the writing of grant proposals to acquire Federal, State and private funding; contract negotiation; hiring, training and supervising full and part-time teaching staff and interns; preparation of contract fiscal and performance reports and ultimate responsibility for contract performance. 1989-1990.


Teacher: Ninth and Tenth grade theology. 1987-1988.

Teacher: English as a Second Language, grades 7-8, 1987.
Completed while in Jesuit novitiate, 1986-1987.

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, Belize, Central America
Teacher: Eleventh grade mathematics and college physics. Coach: Managed the school volleyball team to a championship. Scoutleader: Led a parish troop of thirty boys. 1984-1985.
Completed as part of the newly formed post-graduate Jesuit International Volunteer Program

Staff: Interpreted Spanish for families at day camp for migrant workers' children, created programs to boost staff morale, supervised maintenance of facilities and grounds. Summers, 1982, 1983, 1984.

Participated in social work research and community development projects with Jesuit, Maryknoll and Sisters of Charity mission groups, 2.5 months during the summer of 1982.


Managed the Physician Assistant component of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnerships for Training Grant for Wisconsin and Minnesota, also known as WisTrec. Ensured grant success through the development of a distance education program for educating Wisconsin and Minnesota students from medically underserved areas, providing access to the PA profession for participants and health care for medically underserved communities. Chaired the Mid-level Provider Utilization Task Force of grant partners to promote the use of NP, PA, and Nurse Midwives. Co-authored an Employment Guide on Midlevel Providers for the hiring and retention of non-physician clinicians.

Acquired and managed four successful Title VII U.S. Bureau of Health Professions Training Grants for PA Education - 1997, 1998, 2001, 2005. Total awarded $1,375,000. Grant initiatives included expansion and enhancements to the distance education PA program; development of a health promotion/disease prevention curriculum; development and utilization of clinical training sites in medically underserved areas; minority student recruitment and retention; development of an evidenced based medicine curriculum; development of a medical informatics CME product for physicians and preceptors; and development of a cultural competency curriculum through web-based learning, standardized patients, and hands-on workshops targeting education about Wisconsin’s Native American, African American, Hispanic and Hmong communities.

Outreach Grant – Grant from UW-Madison’s Office of Continuing Education to fund delivery of three physician assistant program courses to serve non-traditional students through distance education. Awarded January, 2006, $88,000

International Study Grant – Grant from UW-Madison’s Office of International Students and Programs to support student and faculty participation in clinical preceptorship experiences in Mayan Indian villages of Belize, Central America. Awarded March 2000, $7500

Technology Grant – Grant from UW-Madison’s Division of Information Technology to develop and implement clinical cases in interactive CD ROM format for student assignment during clinical rotations and to monitor student progress through examinations and coding of patient encounters via the internet. Awarded June 2000, $33,000

Association of PA Programs Research Grant – A Survey of Accredited PA Programs to Determine the Magnitude and Distribution of Instructional and Non-Instructional Responsibilities. Awarded October, 2004, $4000.


Leadership and Committee Positions

  • Distinguished Fellow, American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • President - Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants, two terms, current Treasurer
  • President – Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants Foundation: 2003-2007
  • WI Representative, House of Delegates, American Academy of Physician Assistants, five terms
  • President – American Academy of Physician Assistants in Legal Medicine, currently
  • Chief Clinical Instructor/Preceptor, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Emergency Department
  • Adjunct Clinical Faculty, University of WI – Madison Physician Assistant Program
  • Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Marquette University Department of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Executive Council, voting member – Department of Family Medicine, UW-Madison
  • Advisory Board Member – Task Force on Medical Education and Workforce of the Wisconsin Medical Society and Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • Committee Member - International Health Advisory Committee, UW Medical School
  • Board Member – Hillside Health Care International, 1999-Present
  • Committee Member – Appeals and Grievances Committee, UW Medical School
  • Chair - PA, NP and CNM Utilization Task Force - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partnerships for Training "WisTREC" Project, 1998-2002
  • Member - Governing Board (Steering Committee) and Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson "WisTREC" Project, 1998-2002
  • PA Program Representative - Wisconsin AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) system
  • Consortia Chair - Association of Physician Assistant Programs, Midwest Region, 1998-99
  • Chair - Health & Safety Commitee, Milwaukee Council, Boy Scouts of America, currently

Scholarship – Professional Contributions

  • Dissertation: Physician assistant medical practice in the health care workforce: A retrospective study of medical malpractice and safety comparing physician assistants to physicians and advanced practice nurses, Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2008.  Section 0262, Part 0769 223 pages; [Ph.D. dissertation].United States -- Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin - Madison; 2008. Publication Number: AAT 3327837
  • Article: Does the Employment of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners Increase Liability? Journal of Medical Licensure and Discipline, Vol. 95 Number 2, Fall 2009
  • Publication: Co-author, Physician Assistant portion of “Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives: Employment Guide.”  December, 1999, updated annually
  • Editor: Physician Assistant Employment Guide, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 editions
  • Article: Hillside Health Care Clinic: A Rural Belize International Preceptorship, Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2007
  • Article Reviewer and Article Editor – Perspectives on Physician Assistant Education 1999-2005
  • Article: Guidelines of Program Collaboration on the Use of Clinical Training Sites in Perspective on Physician Assistant Education, Vol. 10, No. 3, Summer 1999
  • Article: The Physician Assistant Expert Witness & Consultant: A Guide for Attorneys and Experts at
  • Article: A Study of Malpractice and Safety Comparing PAs to Physicians and APNs, The Spectator, Official Publication of the Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants, February, 2009
  • Editor: Chronicle Guidance Publications, Inc.  Occupational Brief on Physician Assistants, 2002.
  • CME Presentation: “I Don’t Want to be Sued!” Risk Management Strategies and Improved Patient Safety for Physician Assistants,” WAPA Spring Conference, April 2010,
    AAPA Annual Conference, Atlanta, May 2010
  • Presentation: American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference Research Poster, May 2010, “Malpractice and Liability: the Physician Assistant Factor”
  • Radio Show Guest: ReachMD XM 160 Physician Assistant Malpractice and Safety, April 2010
  • CME Presentation: “Risk Management for the Physician Assistant,” Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants Spring Conference, April 2009
  • Presentation: First Place Award, American Academy of Physician Assistants, Research Poster
    “PA Program Graduates Choosing Employment in Medically Underserved Areas,” 1996
  • Editor: American Diabetes Association, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council,
    Manual of Nutritional Therapy, 1996
  • Workshop Leader: “Computer Literacy for Clinical Practice,”
    American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference, 1997,1998
  • Presentation: Association of PA Programs, “Medically Underserved PA Employment,” 1996
    Presentation:  “Effective Utilization of PAs, NPs, and CNMs” at the Robert Wood Johnson
    Foundation Partnerships for Training Conference, 1998
  • Presentation: “Keeping Track of Distance Students’ Clinical Competencies” WisTREC Partnerships for  Training Conference, March 6, 2003
  • Faculty Development Workshops– “Eliciting Feedback,” “Effective Precepting,” 1996-1998
  • Examination writer and reviewer - Association of Physician Assistant Programs, 1999-2000


  • President and Founder, PA Experts Network, Malpractice Case Review and Expert Witness
    Consultants for Physician Assistant Practice, ongoing
  • Federal Training Grant - Proposal Reviewer: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1998
  • Distance Education Course Reviewer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2002
  • Physician Assistant Utilization, Eployment and Risk Management Consultant, New Images Consulting, ongoing


  • Chair, Health & Safety Committee, Milwaukee County Council, Boy Scouts of America, current
  • Scout Camp Medical Officer, LeFeber Northwoods Camps, Milwaukee Council, BSA
  • Assistant Scoutmaster – Boy Scout Troop 61, current
  • Youth Ministry Group Leader – Middle School Boys, St. Maria Goretti Church 2001-2005
  • Assistant Scoutmaster – Boy Scout Troop 61
  • Youth Ministry Group Leader – Middle School Boys, St. Maria Goretti Church 2001-2005
  • Chair - Evangelization Committee, Saint Maria Goretti Church, Madison, 1999-2001
  • Chair - Advancement Committee and Treasurer, Cub Scout Pack 102, 2001-2004
  • International Medical Volunteer – Belize, 1999-2006
  • Member - Knights of Columbus, 1992 - 1996
  • Medical Director - Town of Beresford Volunteer Ambulance Service, 1992-94
  • Chair, United Way fundraising campaign for the town of Beresford, 1994
  • The Dr. Ben Lawton Memorial Student Scholarship Award - from the Wisconsin
    Academy of Physician Assistants, 1991.
  • The Massachusetts Academy of Physician Assistants Student Scholarship Award, 1991
  • The State of Arizona Physician Assistant Academy Student Scholarship Award, 1991
  • The Albert McGuinn S.J. Award - for excellence in dual disciplines, Boston College, 1984
  • Order of Cross and Crown -excellence in academics/human service, Boston College, 1984
  • Alpha Epsilon Delta - pre-medical honor society, 1982-1984
  • First Place, History research paper, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute competition, 1981
  • Eagle Scout, National Eagle Scout Association, since 1979
  • Spanish communication ability
  • Significant computer/educational technology literacy


National Commission on Accreditation of Certified Physician Assistants
Certification with Distinction – Continuous renewal since January, 1993, Certificate #931738
State of Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing - PA License #904-23
US DEA Controlled Substances Prescribing Authorization #MN….77
American Heart Association
, Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Former ACLS Instructor

References Available Upon Request.



Useful Documents: See Also PA Info Page

Download Dr. Nicholson's

printable CV:

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See Dr. Nicholson's Book


Click this link to read about and/or purchase Dr. Nicholson's research comparing the malpractice incidence of PAs and NPs with those of physicians over the first 17 years of data collected in the National Practitioner Data Bank. German publisher. Alternately the dissertaion in hard or soft cover may be purchased from ProQuest.

See Book Here

Purchase from ProQuest Here



Dr. Nicholson's Dissertation
Table of Contents

View Dr. Nicholson's entire groundbreaking 2008 dissertation comparing medical malpractice incidence and payments between physicians, PAs and advanced practice nurses over the first 17 years of data collected by the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Dissertation pdficon


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