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Think we don't need a name change? Think again!


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I think PAs need to figure out what we want as a whole, as simple as that sounds. Is it understanding, recognition, autonomy, equality, equal reimbursement, less supervision, more or less of what exactly? I think we have some great chances to fight for what we want at this time, but other than a name change what is it we want exactly. There are so many issues we could organize and obtain to remain competitive. Although one of the physicians I spoke with stated that NP-PhD's are trying to put themselves in direct competition with MD's. And that that will lead to a giant slap down really quick like.

 

Maybe it's just me but I feel like we're all riled up for a big change and big revolution...we have the power, the people, and now the opportunity...we just forgot to ask what it is we are fighting for exactly.

 

I don't think it's that complicated; PAs want all those things. And it's not unreasonable to want them all, not pick one and say "well, we'll settle for understanding but sacrifice autonomy".

 

Second it's not NP-PHds it's DNPs (clinical doctorate, not academic) that are at odds with physician primary care practice. since they are in the BONs I'm not sure they can slap it down as easily as they like. NPs continue to progress.

 

Thirs we don't really have power or people. We are a small profession relative to physicians and nurses. That means less advocacy dollars. If you interviewed 1,000 PAs you'd get a common list of wants. We don't have the tools to meet the goal.

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... Although one of the physicians I spoke with stated that NP-PhD's are trying to put themselves in direct competition with MD's. And that that will lead to a giant slap down really quick like.

Maybe it's just me but I feel like we're all riled up for a big change and big revolution...we have the power, the people, and now the opportunity...we just forgot to ask what it is we are fighting for exactly.

 

Wrong on a few fronts...

 

First of all, AMA cant do jack against "Big Nursing!" The DNP is THE example of this. A MD friend of mine stated "The DNP is gonna get smacked down..." a few years ago when we were discussing it and you know what....She and AMA were wrong! Not only did they NOT slap down the DNP, it is moving forward and gaining momentum. (NP i snow the #1 rated job in America)

 

Second, we may have the opportunity but we definitely do NOT have the power nor the people....We dont even have an association that we can stand behind as a unified profession, as evidenced by the many PA's who left or chose not to join AAPA. We do, however, have AN opportunity to tell AAPA and the old guard what we PA's want to be called, and I think it starts there.

 

I think the goal for PAdom should be Parity with NP's in billing and recognition WITHOUT abandoning the supervisory relationship with MD/DO. Is this feasible??? WHo knows, I'm just a newb PA! LOL.

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I think the goal for PAdom should be Parity with NP's in billing and recognition WITHOUT abandoning the supervisory relationship with MD/DO. Is this feasible??? WHo knows, I'm just a newb PA! LOL.

 

After the name change I think this is a top priority. (I say after only b/c of how much work has gone into it and where it is right now)

 

There should be no percieved barrier to either PA or NP in practice scope relative to the other.

Same goes for rx scope as long as the necessary pharm education is there (don't know how extensive it is in NP training)

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The physician I spoke with didn't imply that they would stop the progression of DNPs (Sorry, I specified NP-Phd from the educational standpoint rather than job name). He just stated that although they are growing rapidly they are going to be in direct competition for jobs that MD's would usually obtain. In no way did he mean that they would stop their progression, just that the AMA has the ability to make limitations based on the fact that DNPs are in some areas calling themselves Dr., despite the supposed limitations to doing such.

 

I do think we should have all the things we all want. I just haven't seen a document asking for all of the details other than the name change. I believe a name change would benefit the PA profession but without the public education about our training and such, they will still not understand the name we choose. I practice in rural America and there is massive friction between the DNPs, PA's, and MDs although we all work together and do the same job. I do not believe requiring a PhD for PA's is the answer as the time and effort involved would then confuse patients as to why we couldn't be a doctor since the jobs and education would be simliar (This coming from patient comments I've heard). I'm sure the differences in our experiences vary greatly by job and by state, but from our location DNPs are taking over and the physicians are commenting frequently regarding the nature of their experience and lack of supervision. I just hope for a day when we can all provide equal care, with equal recognition, equal reimbursement, and a highly symbiotic relationship.

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The physician I spoke with didn't imply that they would stop the progression of DNPs (Sorry, I specified NP-Phd from the educational standpoint rather than job name). He just stated that although they are growing rapidly they are going to be in direct competition for jobs that MD's would usually obtain. In no way did he mean that they would stop their progression, just that the AMA has the ability to make limitations based on the fact that DNPs are in some areas calling themselves Dr., despite the supposed limitations to doing such.

 

I do think we should have all the things we all want. I just haven't seen a document asking for all of the details other than the name change. I believe a name change would benefit the PA profession but without the public education about our training and such, they will still not understand the name we choose. I practice in rural America and there is massive friction between the DNPs, PA's, and MDs although we all work together and do the same job. I do not believe requiring a PhD for PA's is the answer as the time and effort involved would then confuse patients as to why we couldn't be a doctor since the jobs and education would be simliar (This coming from patient comments I've heard). I'm sure the differences in our experiences vary greatly by job and by state, but from our location DNPs are taking over and the physicians are commenting frequently regarding the nature of their experience and lack of supervision. I just hope for a day when we can all provide equal care, with equal recognition, equal reimbursement, and a highly symbiotic relationship.

 

Remember the PhD and DNP are different degrees. The DNP is not the job title for the PhD. One is an academic doctorate, the other a clinical doctorate. Like the DScPA.

 

There's no documentation of what PAs want because- who would it go to? The AAPA has their own money and their own agenda (which is available on their website http://www.aapa.org/about_aapa/governance/resources/item.aspx?id=2320). How well it reflects what PAs want, well, depends on who you ask.

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I just happened to be reading the Journal for CV surgery PA's and ran across this:

Physician Assistant versus Physician Associate

In 2010, there was a surge in discussion of rebranding the PA profession. We covered the pro and con arguments in the Summer

2010 issue of CardioVISION. At the request of some of our members, we surveyed our membership to determine their

views on this topic and to ask for guidance for the APACVS Board of Directors; specifically “Should APACVS as a society

support changing the name of the profession from Physician Assistant to Physician Associate?”

The first interesting result of this survey was that despite the fact that 393 APACVS members responded to our survey regarding

the O.R. “Time Out,” only 216 APACVS members responded to this survey. Consequently, a significant number of

APACVS members did not think that this topic was important enough to respond to.

The second result of this survey is that of the members responding to the question, 49.8% (130) felt that the name ‘assistant’

should be changed to ‘associate’ while 50.2% felt that the name should not be changed.

The APACVS Board of Directors wants to thank the APACVS membership for providing guidance with this issue. At this

point in time, the APACVS Board will not devote Association time or resources to support the change of our professional

name from physician assistant to physician associate.

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Yep this was from our spring newsletter (I'm an APACVS member). I don't know what to make of the response, in light of the response seen from the associate name change website. The biggest factor here is that surgery PAs in the highest paying specialty we have might not feel any need to rock the boat. Things are good for these PAs as assistants.....and we are technically assistants at surgery when we are in that role....so why change a good thing?

 

PAs that have the greater opportunity for autonomy, leadership of their own practices, community outreach etc are primary care PAs. They are more likely to support the initiative and this is evidenced by the fact that the AFPPA has done so. They released a poll, and while its sample size was smaller, the support rate was >80%.

 

There are also political forces at play that determine if an organization's leadership will press an issue. 50:50 is hardly a mandate. More goes on behind closed doors that we're not aware of.

 

We as specialty PAs need to think about our PA brothers and sisters, and what is good/accurate/representative for the profession as a whole.

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If we're not afraid of the AAPA, why not stand up to it

and demand it do what it's getting paid to do.

 

Again, I'm just sharing my lone opinion. I would be a part/join something replacing the AAPA and becoming really our voice/force in the dark.

 

Frankly, I'm not a member of AAPA. I have never heard much good coming from the organization.

 

I am not trying to be critical, I am actually very curious.....What do you think the AAPA is "paid" to do? And please describe how you think that they are not meeting those goals?

 

Just curious as to your thoughts.

 

Mike

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I am not trying to be critical, I am actually very curious.....What do you think the AAPA is "paid" to do? And please describe how you think that they are not meeting those goals?

 

Just curious as to your thoughts.

 

Mike

 

The AAPA receives dues from its members and their responsibility is to represent PAs and the PA profession.

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Yep this was from our spring newsletter (I'm an APACVS member). I don't know what to make of the response, in light of the response seen from the associate name change website. The biggest factor here is that surgery PAs in the highest paying specialty we have might not feel any need to rock the boat. Things are good for these PAs as assistants.....and we are technically assistants at surgery when we are in that role....so why change a good thing?

 

 

This is an interesting concept. Where there may be many "niches" in the profession that are happy/satisfied with their respect, recognition, pay, etc and stand behind the idea of "why change a good thing." This may also apply to PAs in certain parts of the country as well (state/regional). It would be interesting to see breakdown of PAs for, against, or indifferent of name change per region/state. For example, in my state the PAs (generally speaking) do not have issues with many of the problems PA colleauges voice on this site (especially in regards to general respect and the public knowing what a PA is/does). Unfortunately, this may breed apathy for many PAs unaware of issues in other parts. I'm glad this forum is bringing these issues to light, so maybe they can be discussed on a more state/local level (i.e. discussed at state PA meetings).

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The AAPA receives dues from its members and their responsibility is to represent PAs and the PA profession.

 

Okay, let me ask it this way then....How are they not representing PA's and the PA profession? What are they NOT doing (outside of the name change, which I would argue that they are open to at least looking at) that you feel they should?

 

I'm just honestly curious here.

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The AAPA has never really helped us, and I don't think it ever will.

It needs to be buried and something we control put in it's place.

 

The director simply has a plush position with a good salary.

 

If we don't take a stand, we may well go into extinction and just be an old museum display. Right now I don't see anything existing that will help us on a national level.

 

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I think our profession is in deep trouble.

Furthermore, a while back I had posted on this forum a story about my Optometrist wife who was helping to organize a fight against her national representative group; the AOA. Their fight and dedication in creating a whole new organization; .............Perhaps if many here feel that the AAPA is so detrimental to overall PA cause and is not listening to the base constituency, then creation of a new "legitimate" organization is in order. The AAPA is recognized b/c there is no other representing organization. It would take work, but if Optometrists can do it, then so can PA's.

 

Here you go...get cracking !

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Okay, let me ask it this way then....How are they not representing PA's and the PA profession? What are they NOT doing (outside of the name change, which I would argue that they are open to at least looking at) that you feel they should?

 

I'm just honestly curious here.

representing individual pa's with real world problems who ask for help.

talk to mike jones about the support aapa gave him when he asked for help when insurance companies wouldn't pay him because it was a pa owned specialty practice. they should have sent him a legal team....instead they throw money at supporting the right to late term abortions? not exactly a critical mission of the pa profession....

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representing individual pa's with real world problems who ask for help.

talk to mike jones about the support aapa gave him when he asked for help when insurance companies wouldn't pay him because it was a pa owned specialty practice. they should have sent him a legal team....instead they throw money at supporting the right to late term abortions? not exactly a critical mission of the pa profession....

 

Fair enough. A lot of the discussion in the HOD is frustrating. Sometimes I think the HOD has outlived it's usefulness, but then I could never figure out what we would replace it with.....

 

I don't know what happened with Mike. I was going to email him tomorrow.

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Fair enough. A lot of the discussion in the HOD is frustrating. Sometimes I think the HOD has outlived it's usefulness, but then I could never figure out what we would replace it with.....

 

I don't know what happened with Mike. I was going to email him tomorrow.

 

he, his business manager and SP met with the leadership of group health yesterday, presented his case and should hear back from them soon on whether or not they will overturn their (restraint of trade) boycott against him.

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he, his business manager and SP met with the leadership of group health yesterday, presented his case and should hear back from them soon on whether or not they will overturn their (restraint of trade) boycott against him.

 

No I meant what happened with the AAPA.....I set up a connection...I don't know what happened after....

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Yep this was from our spring newsletter (I'm an APACVS member). I don't know what to make of the response, in light of the response seen from the associate name change website. The biggest factor here is that surgery PAs in the highest paying specialty we have might not feel any need to rock the boat. Things are good for these PAs as assistants.....and we are technically assistants at surgery when we are in that role....so why change a good thing?

 

PAs that have the greater opportunity for autonomy, leadership of their own practices, community outreach etc are primary care PAs. They are more likely to support the initiative and this is evidenced by the fact that the AFPPA has done so. They released a poll, and while its sample size was smaller, the support rate was >80%.

 

There are also political forces at play that determine if an organization's leadership will press an issue. 50:50 is hardly a mandate. More goes on behind closed doors that we're not aware of.

 

We as specialty PAs need to think about our PA brothers and sisters, and what is good/accurate/representative for the profession as a whole.

 

I'm also a surgical specialty PA and I think that this analysis is spot on. Surgical PAs are at or near the top of the food chain at my hospital and in my community, and have excellent compensation, recognition and prestige. I also have a PA corporation, and bill all my first assist to carriers directly. It is amusing to see the variety of reasoning used by adjusters to reduce / deny billings (none of which has to do with being just an "assistant"). All carriers in Ca are reimbursing for PAs at first assist. At least part of the ambivalence of surgical PAs likely has to do with concern as to what a change in title would do to this process / reimbursement for services provided by PAs. It may be self-serving, but with more than a thousand health insurance bureaucracies out there processing bills for services provided by PAs, I for one want to tread carefully in this regard. I agree with andersenpa that the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. However, we also need to try to determine and understand all the consequences (potential and / or actual) of our actions prior to embarking in a new direction.

Edited by burnpac
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