If You Were Born In The 60s, 70s, or 80s, You Have to Watch This. WOW.
I have been reading quite a few of the post grad PA residency/fellowship blogs and am blown away by the sheer amount of material and skills that new grad PAs are able to grasp and perform straight out of a PA residency. This got me thinking.
What if the PA profession embraced required post grad PA residencies/fellowships?
There are several benefits to doing something like this in my eyes.
1) PAs would hit the ground running--we would be incredibly capable straight out of the gate.
2) PAs would instantly have a major advantage over NPs, even if those NPs have had years of RN experience before they became an NP.
3) It would allow us to stand on something more than just our education when attempting to fight for any legislative hurdles.
4) We would be afforded more autonomy if #2 would work.
5) I think we would gain more respect from our MD/DO colleagues.
6) Possibly slow down over-saturation.
Of course there would be some negative consequences to a mandatory post-grad residency.
1) Currently PAs who do a residency have a major advantage over new grads and even experienced PAs. This would go away if all new PAs completed a residency.
2) PA school would go from 2ish years to 3ish years.
3) Experienced PAs may see new PAs as a threat.
4) Finding enough hospital systems to embrace the idea of a PA residency and finding enough positions to accept all the PA spots after graduation.
5) loss of lateral mobility.
I know this is pretty unrealistic right now, but I think PAs are going to have a hard time fighting for more autonomy if we do not change our current educational tract. More and more schools are accepting students with NO clinical experience what so ever. If this is the case, can we really fight for autonomy? That was a hallmark of the PA profession and a major selling point, but now that this is going away, I think a residency would be the solution to that problem. A good solution too, as residency PAs would be top notch straight out of school!
PAs For Tomorrow AAPA Candidate Endorsement Statement
The 2017-18 AAPA voting polls have been open for a few days. Historically, membership participation in AAPA elections tends to be low. PAFT encourages all PAs to participate in the selection of our future national leaders. If you haven’t already cast your vote, take the time to review the candidate selections and thoughtfully consider who you believe is best equipped to further the mission of the PA profession.
Recently, the PAFT Board of Directors submitted a series of questions to each candidate. After review of those that submitted responses to PAFT, board membership carefully considered which candidates best represent the future of our profession. Specifically, PAFT is interested in leaders who will progressively advocate for our professional future and who will work to remove barriers to PAs practicing to the fullest extent of their license.
For the 2017 AAPA Elections, PAFT endorses the following candidates:
President-Elect: Alan N. Bybee, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA, CPAAPA
Jonathan E. Sobel, PA-C, MBA, DFAAPA
Director At Large: Dave Mittman, PA, DFAPPA
Gerard Grega, PA-C, DFAAPA
Diane Bruessow, PA-C, DFAAPA
Communication to national leadership is best demonstrated by casting your vote. It remains one of the most important tasks you can do to advocate on behalf of the PA profession. The polls remain open until April 10, 2017 5:00PM Eastern Standard Time (US & Canada). Vote now by logging into your AAPA profile and selecting the general election link on the home page.
PAFT Board of Directors
I'm a PhD student and for my thesis I'm researching PA professional roles in healthcare delivery. I would love to hear your insights about the profession, why you chose it, what you love most about your work with a brief online questionnaire. It should only take 10 minutes and would *really* help me out! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. My end goal is to promote the PA profession to the public, since there is such an unfortunate lack of knoweldge on PAs and what they do!
Thanks for your help :)
Thanks for your help!
By PAFT PRESIDENT
FUTURE VISION – WHO’s RESPONSIBLE?
As President of PAs for Tomorrow, I’ve been in a great ideological flux. I see a dramatic dichotomy for the PA profession. On one hand, Forbes, USA Today and the New York Times often have the PA profession as one of the top 5 or 10 most promising fields. On the other hand, there continue to be “issues” that loom over the profession. Name change, antiquated state laws, reimbursement inequity, and competition for jobs all intermingle with greater clinical demands such as volume production, meaningful use requirements, EMR integration among other administrative demands. I’ve found this dichotomy difficult to reconcile. Do we have a hopeful and stable professional future as PAs? Or do we have a profession that is losing ground because our greater majority is either basking in the apathetic glory of a Forbes article and our national leadership that seems frozen in time, fearful of disrupting a careful balance that is teetering on dramatic change anyway?
I spent the first half of my career basking in the Forbes article. The past five years, I’ve found myself acknowledging realities of limited regional job opportunities because physicians don’t want to “supervise” PAs. I see AMA and AAFP leadership denigrate PAs despite the financial and quality of life rewards their majority reap by working with PAs. I see the millions of legislative nursing dollars successfully lobbying for NP independence while PAs still practice with antiquated legislation passed 40 years ago. And I’ve watched our national leadership do some good things and ideologically progress in some ways, make promises of action in other ways and seemingly stand still in a lot of ways that matter most.
Some say break away, form a new, more progressive PA-centric organization. And that may be a future reality if the AAPA, as the largest organization of PAs FOR PAs, continues to stand still on issues important to their membership. That said, there is power in numbers – and the AAPA has numbers, lots of them. They have the most members, the most money, the most manpower and the most established connections. With all of that comes the most responsibility and accountability to this profession.
Ultimately, I believe that the utility of the PA profession will succeed in moving our profession forward. Our malleability as a profession is what makes us appealing.
I believe that the solutions come from holding leadership accountable to future vision. That accountability will come from you, me and others who take the time to communicate with AAPA leaders who either aren't interested in change or just don't have vision. I have no doubt that any PA colleague who takes the time to run for any AAPA leadership positon has an altruistic motive. However, not all have true vision to lead in times of change and flux. This is a pivotal time for the healthcare industry. Change is evolving rapidly from a multitude of directions - seemingly all but in the best interest of patient care. The PA profession has historically been passive in its professional advocacy efforts - safe, don't ruffle feathers, don't upset organized medicine and for gosh sakes, don't upset physicians. Some leaders seem to be finally accepting the harsh reality that present physician generations are NOT interested in supporting the PA profession's growth and maturity beyond the 1970 standard. Though physicians speak rhetorically of teamwork, it hasn't been a respectful, genuine or most importantly, an inclusive conversation. Organized medicine and physicians in general are struggling to define their own future. They've accepted PAs in their realm as long as PAs were of benefit them financially or a quality of life perspective. Medicine has shifted dramatically and, without a doubt, has more an "each his own" mentality.
And PAs are largely on our own except where it matters most - legislatively and administratively - and usually not in support of PAs. Physicians aren't (and have rarely been, in my opinion) busting the doors down to support PAs locally, regionally or nationally. To the contrary, those are the arenas where organized medicine loudly voices dismay if PAs stray into uncomfortable territory. If you want physicians to appear out of the woodwork, propose changes to prescriptive authority, "supervision" language, co-signature, or practice ownership. The same physicians who hire only NPs to avoid the pesky task of co-signature are the same physicians who stand on the capitol steps to block bills proposing legislation to eliminate or loosen those requirements for PAs. For the record, I have had the great fortune to work with many great physicians and have fantastic microscopic relationships with physicians who respect me and call me their friend. Organized medicine, however, is a disingenuous 'frenemy' to the PA profession and we would do ourselves well to finally accept that reality. It's taken me 20 years to accept what I would "feel" but not say out loud, lest I’d have to acknowledge it. It's time that the larger PA profession leadership accept that reality and start making future policy and strategic decisions for the PA profession with that in mind.
I have no desire to be adversarial. I have no desire to create conflict. But I do believe we each have a responsibility to more progressively and aggressively promote the PA profession to do good for patients. I believe we also must do this to secure a viable and stable future for the PA profession. This means we WILL ruffle feathers, we will be professionally adversarial when necessary and there will be conflict to resolve. So be it. Organized medicine will not quietly accept a progressive PA-centric platform and physicians won't collectively have an epiphany, welcoming us into the fold. But those things haven't happened in 50 years despite our profession’s teamwork and our submission to organized medicine’s control anyway. And the structure of the healthcare industry today is demanding a different framework that is even less conducive to respectful PA/MD relationships. Most importantly, organized medicine hasn't been receptive to most policy and statute changes PAs have fought to achieve during our 50 year existence – it’s always been challenging, even when we’ve been perfectly compliant. We should accept that and move forward regardless. What were once perhaps logical laws, language and policies necessary for a young professional workforce are now unsubstantiated and often unfounded restrictions. If a policy or statute does nothing to enhance access to care, foster true team framework or isn't a cost effective use of manpower, it needs to go away no matter who’s feathers get ruffled.
The passivity and lack of willingness of our own to see these things is troubling. The PA profession will need to step outside the policy box of the past and let the fear and reluctance go. We can create new vision for our future viability. It's just simply time. Pick up the phone, call your state AAPA HOD representative and have a talk about what the vision for the future really looks like. They ran for office to lead. They are responsible to do that.
Nichole Bateman, MPAS, PA-C