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  1. Sums it up far better then I could ever hope to..... well done Dave And BTW - he is running for AAPA Board (If you really want to make SURE he gets it vote for ONLY him!) https://www.doximity.com/doc_news/v2/entries/6948772 The PA Doctorate: Is It Needed or Not? Clinician Today · March 17, 2017 Original Article 2 2 21 It is ten years from now. You are a patient. Or, better yet, your two-year-old daughter is a patient. You know just a little about medical people, including that the pharmacist you see, the physical therapist you see, and the NP you see all practice at the “doctorate” level. You appreciate that, and you expect people who make decisions that affect your child’s health to practice at that level. Do you want to see “Ms. Assistant” or “Dr. Practitioner”? Not knowing anything more, I know who I would want. I know who I would pick to guide my healthcare decisions, and my daughter’s. If I am a PA, I have to realize that sooner or later, all “advanced” health professionals will have a doctorate. Do I want to find myself in the above situation? PAs spend more hours on their clinical training than almost any other profession, and they at least deserve what PTs, OTs, DATs, AudDs, PharmDs, DNPs, and others achieve for their many hours spent learning. This is especially true when most PA doctorates will be earned after even more hours in on-the-job clinical training with an emphasis on leadership and/or education. You are an insurance company. For decades, you have let all other professions know that people who practice at the doctoral level will have a much easier job being credentialed for reimbursement than those with master’s degrees. I am the company, and in some cases, unfortunately, I get to choose. Why not do what has been the customary way to measure a professional’s competence, and ask if they have a doctorate? PTs, OTs, audiologists, dentists, and others have found this out. So will we. You are a legislator, and PAs are coming in asking for full practice authority. Or, let’s bring it down a notch. The legislators realize you can write orders for other professions. PT, OT, and speech therapy order different therapies. You choose the medications people take for their illnesses, telling the pharmacists what to dispense for them. At the hospital you write “orders” (a poor team-based word) for nurses, nutritionists, and others. Sooner or later, the logical question will be, “How can you expect, as a master’s-prepared professional, to tell four doctorates what to do?” One profession or another will balk. In many states, the podiatrist is now the podiatric physician, the optometrist is the optometric physician, and the chiropractor is the chiropractic physician. Yes, they changed their titles to help elevate their status. This is not going away. The problem is the law says you are a physician(’s) assistant. Our scope of practice is and will continue to be broader than the above professionals’, yet to insurance companies, legislators, Medicare, and patients, it seems logical that we would be “assisting” them. A doctorate would help even the playing field and aid in helping people understand that we do much more than what our title implies. (So would a title change, honestly, but that’s a conversation for another day.) This is not about, “If you wanted to be a doctor, you should have gone to medical school.” This is very much about a profession that either fits into the 21st century and recognizes that it is no longer 1975, or a profession that will stay misunderstood and undervalued for what it brings to the table. It is very much about a train that has left the station. Ask the pharmacist, or the dentist, or the psychologist, or the chiropractor, or the DPT, or the DNP, or the AudD whether they want to be a physician, and the answer will be “No, why?” Why would PAs not want to be PAs educated to the highest level they could be? Twenty years ago, I thought wanting a doctorate was more ego than anything else. It had no place in my clinical world. It would not get me a larger paycheck. I became a PA in part to show the world that “nondoctors” could deliver the same care as “doctors” did. I know how good we are and never wanted to take a boat the Caribbean to become a physician. I bleed PA blue. I thought only academic PAs and NPs needed doctorates. But times change. Professions change. People change. We are, like it or not, part of many professions that practice in the same or similar spaces, and if we are expected to advance, we had better at least consider change. Especially when we are the only profession ignoring that change. Again, ten years from now, we will be the “odd ones out.” We are not making the rules, only following the same ones followed by almost all other professions. Healthcare changes, and like it or not, we must change also. I have never met a PA or NP who has obtained a doctorate and has not said that it made them a better all-around clinician. It filled in some holes. It gave them greater understanding and appreciation. I hear these sentiments often. I believe them. The transition for the PA profession to become a doctorate profession will take decades. It will hardly affect most PAs today unless they are in their first or second decade of practice. Some may have to eventually do “at work, on the job” bridge programs. The NP profession has tried to push the doctorate as the initial degree earned at graduation from NP school, with mixed results. We should learn from them. Keep programs at the master’s level, adding clinical doctorates earned through more clinical experience plus an emphasis on other tracks. NPs are already feeling some positives from their shift. Doctorates are opening doors and giving them seats at the table. Doctorates expand their understanding of topics not stressed in NP school. Doctorates open their eyes. Doctorates are not needed because those professions need to compete with, or want to “be,” physicians, but because professions need to let the public, legislators, insurance companies, and other health professionals know that their postgraduate education offers the level of education and sophistication needed to take on the responsibility they have. Doctorates give that guarantee. Eventually, PAs will realize this. Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA, has been a PA (and NP) leader for more than 39 years. He co-founded the LIU PA Program student society in 1973, was president of the New York State Society of PAs in 1979, and served on the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Board of Directors from 1981 to 1983. Dave has also won the AAPA Public Education award for leading the march in Trenton, NJ, to establish PA practice. Dave was introduced to medicine as a medic in the USAF. He later had the distinction of becoming the first PA in the USAF Reserves permitted to practice.
  2. Hi all! I need some help. I'm in my last year of undergrad finishing my bachelors with a psychology with applied behavior analysis major, human sexuality minor, and women and gender studies minor. I have a heavy social science background as you can see. I recently realized that I would like to change my career option and become a PA. I'm very limited though, it's my last semester and I only have 16 credits left which is just what I could use to complete pre-req's at the University of Detroit Mercy for their program which are: Nutrition Medical Ethics Microbiology Physiology Developmental Psychology Statistics I have developmental psychology down and statistics, so all I would need is 12 credits to complete these pre-reqs. I could honestly take these classes this summer, but some of them are online. I also have to take the GRE, but my GPA is a 3.85 and I do see it going up to a 3.9 at the end of this semester. I am also in the process of looking for direct care hours at a hospital. My questions are: 1. Even without a hard science background would I still stand a chance? 2. I am a Michigan resident and this school is only about 20 minutes away which is great for me, but I am only applying to this program since others have a lot more pre-reqs and I don't have time, should I just let this idea go or just try? 3. Would taking classes online be seen as bad? (Such as physio, microbiology, and medical ethics) 3. Help?!?!?! I need some insight, please be honest with me. The reason for the sudden career change is the fact that while being a mental health provider was my ultimate goal, I also need to make a living to live a comfortable life. School for psychology is expensive, long, and very research oriented. I think being a PA is pretty similar to my goal and would be very rewarding as well. Thanks for your time, I appreciate any help at all. If you're currently in the program I would love to hear from your application process and degree experience. Please do email me at mtran4@emich.edu.
  3. Hello need advice currently a junior in college recently transferred to a different school and changing majors. My main focus is my GPA in order to get into PA school my first try. My GPA isn't too great right now thats the reason why I'm mainly focused not that. Currently my GPA is a 3.0. My major was biology and i stuck in between changing my major to B.S in public health or either BSN. Currently I would have to wait to get accepted into the entry level BSN program at UTA which is only 15 months online which is why I'm considering this option and that I can have a job once i graduate if i don't get accepted my try for PA school. Another reason I pick B.S in public health is because I can easily get a higher GPA with that degree. Just need advice on which route I should take...??? And I currently have 500 HCE doing Patient Care Tech/ Medical Assistant work & 20 hours shadowing a PA.
  4. Hello, I am currently finishing up my associate in science and am wondering which undergrad route to take. I was originally planning on working towards a bs in psychology but have recently discovered that my school offers a bachelor's in radiologic technology. This program appeals a bit more, as I feel it will be applicable knowledge for PA school and something to fall back on If I do not get in. I guess my questions are which route would you take and why? Which degree do you think will appeal more to PA programs? Has anyone gone either route and are satisfied? (Cost of both is about the same.) Thank you for your opinion, very much appreciated!
  5. Im strongly considering majoring in psychology, what was your experience like as a psychology major?
  6. HI guys. FIrst, a little about myself. Single full time dad of 2 little ones. FT respiratory therapist with 5 years experience. Now, before my kids were born and before respriratory school had even begun, I knew my goal was to become a PA. My plan was to graduate as an RT, as I did, and gain experience and reapply for shcool for my bacheors. Being an RT is great, but being an RT and supporting 2 kids gets a bit difficult when your constantly streatching yourself between working night shifts and raising children. I had an understanding a long time ago that being a PA fulfilled some sort of home/work balance. Thats whats always intrigued me to the field. Good pay without all the extra OT hours to keep up to pace with lifes curveballs. And of course, I knew i wanted more patient interaction, more responsibility than that of an RT. Now, I am at a point where I am ready to go back to school in the very near future. My dilema is finding a proper undergrad. I am trying to find something that isnt a biology degree (because really, is PA school doesnt work out, WTH am i going to do with a biology degree??) . The only thing that may seem semi interesting to me is Healthcare admin. BUt even that doesnt sound all that appealing. Anywho, what was the path you took before getting into PA school?? I am trying to find my "blueprint" so to speak. Maybe yours could enlighten me. Thanks GUYS ! and BTW what a great forum this is....
  7. Hello everyone, I am Daniel. I am a community college student who really wants to be a PA. I have applied to transfer next fall under a kinesiology major. I have two questions: 1. Can one apply to PA school under a kinesiology major? I chose kinesiology because to me it is more practical. 2. I know prerequisites expire for some schools. I am just concerned that my prerequisites will expire by the time I graduate. I have sent 4 years at community college, and I'm applying to transfer. I guess my question is if there any schools that don't have prerequisite expiration dates? Or that has an expiration date that is 7-10 years down the line. Haha thanks! :)
  8. Looking for a bit of feedback on major choices. What did people do for their bachelors prior to applying for PA school? Bio, Chem, Nursing, etc? Am on a transfer system going to night classes at a Cali community college; currently working full time @ VA hospital (3+ years of trauma psych/clinical research work with veterans and AD, and ongoing). Planning to get EMT certified next spring and get some clinical experience on weekends as am hoping to focus on trauma/CC as a PA. Current major is nursing (bachelor program, not associates) but since my end goal is PA and Navy service am wondering if nursing is the best major to aim for - does it actually give me more flexibility, like it seems to, as opposed to straight Bio or a non-science B.A? Have until the end of the year to decide as then I need to decide which specific Bio/Chem classes to take. Current GPA is 4.0 but that's in community college classes so we'll see. Thanks for any feedback.
  9. Hello, I'm soon going to graduate from high school and i got accepted into a university that offers pre-physician assistant program and i'm not sure whether i should go ahead and go or save some money and go to a local community college and later transfer?? So i guess in shorter terms is a pre-physician program necessary to be accepted into a PA school? I should mention i plan to major in bio-health sciences.
  10. Hi there, I am starting college this fall and am having some questions about my major. As of right now I am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Biology. The minor in Biology will fulfill my pre req cources for PA school. My question is how will my major affect (positively or negatively) getting into PA school? Thanks!
  11. Could really use some assistance from you guys! My girlfriend was studying communication sciences and disorders, with the intention of then going on to audiology school for the next four years. She is a rising senior in the program and will graduate next April. Just recently, she has been thinking she'd rather go to PA school. How complicated would you guys think this transition would be? Her plan would be to take a year off after graduation to work at a hospital and accrue the 500 hours most schools require. However, she has only taken one semester of biology, one semester of chemistry, and all of her anatomy/physiology courses are specific to speech and hearing. Would really appreciate any thoughts on this, as well as the competitiveness of PA school compared to other graduate programs such as SLP and Audiology!
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