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An Open Letter to All PAs: The Time Has Come for a Professional Name Change


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Kind of funny the British thing...

I worked with an old British FP who moved to the USA in the 70s to escape the socialized medical system.

He said that most of the physicians in England were indeed called "Doctor" despite the fact that they had a bachelor's degree.

However the surgeons insisted on being referred to as "Mister" so-and-so.

They felt it was a badge of honor and differentiated them from the lowly non-surgeons!

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Mike,   Eff him.   Again, thank you for the site, your time, work and and efforts in creating perhaps the most sucessful PA forum on the web.   Through which I have beome aware of more truely ge

Physician Associate: A Change Whose Time Has Come We, the undersigned physician assistant leaders assert that the time to change the name of our profession has arrived. While we can debate much about

Another excited call for professional mental masterbation to resume in earnest ,all over a freaking job title!!!!! Can anyone tell me what the phrase "form over function" has in common with this regu

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yup, I trained with a lot of brits on one of my rotations. my trauma elective was "internationally known" so it got students from everywhere.

the ms5's there were 23 yrs old and had a combo of medschool + college= 5 yrs. as a senior pa student I had 4 yrs undergrad+ 1 yr medic school+ 2 yrs pa school=7 yrs....go figure....and yes, I ran circles around every single one of them(seriously).

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yup, I trained with a lot of brits on one of my rotations. my trauma elective was "internationally known" so it got students from everywhere.

the ms5's there were 23 yrs old and had a combo of medschool + college= 5 yrs. as a senior pa student I had 4 yrs undergrad+ 1 yr medic school+ 2 yrs pa school=7 yrs....go figure....and yes, I ran circles around every single one of them(seriously).

 

Humility is one of your strong suits, I see.

 

Technically speaking, British, Australian, Canadian medical graduates that receive the MBBS degree actually receive two bachelor's degrees upon completion of their education (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). They are awarded simultaneously and are treated as one degree, though. They are referred to as "undergraduate" degrees because they are typically the applicant's first degree. In the US, medical education is a graduate-entry program; you need to graduate from a baccalaureate program first. You do have more years in college, E, but that doesn't mean you had more years of medical training. MBBS is a 5-6 year program. Your PA and EMT training together is a bit more than half of this length. The only difference between the British and American systems is that we Americans are forced to spend (read: waste) four of our most energetic years of life studying something other than medicine before we can actually begin studying the profession.

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of their 5 yrs 2 are spent on undergrad type courses so they actually do medschool in 3 yrs. so we both had 3 yrs of medical training.

I wasn't bragging, those guys were clueless. I taught them a lot of "basics" that any 2nd yr pa student would know.

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Kind of funny the British thing...

I worked with an old British FP who moved to the USA in the 70s to escape the socialized medical system.

He said that most of the physicians in England were indeed called "Doctor" despite the fact that they had a bachelor's degree.

However the surgeons insisted on being referred to as "Mister" so-and-so.

They felt it was a badge of honor and differentiated them from the lowly non-surgeons!

 

 

The term "Mister" is a throwback, to the days before surgeons, when physicians, who at the time were horrible with their hands, would direct a barber (sometimes even a mechanic), or whoever they could find that was good with their hands, and would "direct" them to do the surgery.

 

When the surgical profession really separated itself, the surgeons held onto the title....It was a sign of respect, and clearly differentiated them from physicians.

 

When I was in Ortho, we would have traveling surgeons from all over the world, and I always made sure to call the ones from the UK....Mister.

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After graduating college I worked as a bartender and dated one of the interns who came to work at a cocktail waitress for the summer months. She was from slovakia. Interestingly she was a 3rd going into her 4th year of medical school but was required to go abroad and work. We stayed in contact and dated again when she came back between her 4th and 5th year for 4 months because she enjoyed her time in the USA. In slovakia she was able to take a high school placement exam to get automatic entrance into medical school. 5 years total. She is now a doctor and in an internal medicine internship (i'm not sure if it is required). She was telling me that job outlook is not good and you can barely get by on the salaries. She is 24.

Edited by AlmostDone2011
I cant spell now that im in pa school
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Humility is one of your strong suits, I see.

 

Technically speaking, British, Australian, Canadian medical graduates that receive the MBBS degree actually receive two bachelor's degrees upon completion of their education (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).

 

Canadian schools award the M.D., not the MBBS.

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So here's my view. Our profession has been around what- almost 50 years? And I encounter people who still haven't heard of a "PA." That, or they've heard of us, but know NOTHING about what we do.

 

"So when will you be a doctor sonny?"

"Are you training to be a doctor?"

"Are you a resident?"

"What's your role? Are you like a nurse?"

 

 

and on and on and on and on and on...

 

So here's my stance:

 

Name change? Yeah, that would be nice. But do we want to wait another 50 years for people to still not understand what the hell a Physician ASSOCIATE is? Not me. Why don't we take the same motivation and put it into PR for ourselves instead of wasting our time on a title change that: A. May never happen, or B. May not make a damn bit of difference in the end anyway?

 

Food for thought...

 

J

 

BTW- I'm not against it. But if we're going to push for something in this profession, lets push for what benefits us the most.

Edited by jwells78
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There's good reasoning behind both the name change and a PR campaign.

They don't need to be mutually exclusive.

 

A few of the current AAPA candidates have made it clear in their platform statements that a PR effort using national advertising would be, in their terms, "cost prohibitive". They will not be putting that ball in play.

 

BUT- By far the easier thing to do now is the name change, but the PR must follow- but from whose funds?

I don't buy the notion that we each have to be our profession's PR campaign on a patient-to-patent basis. There must be a coordinated effort. But that is a BIG effort that needs serious bucks behind it.

 

I'd vote for tackling the more managable problems first.

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There's good reasoning behind both the name change and a PR campaign.

They don't need to be mutually exclusive.

 

A few of the current AAPA candidates have made it clear in their platform statements that a PR effort using national advertising would be, in their terms, "cost prohibitive". They will not be putting that ball in play.

 

BUT- By far the easier thing to do now is the name change, but the PR must follow- but from whose funds?

I don't buy the notion that we each have to be our profession's PR campaign on a patient-to-patent basis. There must be a coordinated effort. But that is a BIG effort that needs serious bucks behind it.

 

I'd vote for tackling the more managable problems first.

 

The name change will be massively expensive. Like millions of dollars. People think the AAPA should do this, but it isn't up to them. All the AAPA can do, is send it through the HOD, and provide a recommendation to change the name.

 

IT WILL STILL BE UP TO EACH STATE'S CHAPTER, to find a legislator, hire lobbyists, and move the legislation through.

 

If you really want to change our name, the AAPA is the wrong place to start, you should be contacting your state chapter. The AAPA is rather powerless in this perspective, outside of providing some funding assistance to the state chapters should they decide to pursue it.

 

How much are you willing to pay? Are you willing to contribute 500-1000 dollars per PA? Cause the money has to come from somewhere, and the AAPA has other battles to fight as well.

 

I support it, and yes, I would willing to give 500 dollars to my state chapter if needed for this purpose.

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The AAPA are the closest ones to us with the money- which they have no intention of using to support this cause (as they have stated), so they have no functional role in the name change.

 

Look how recently CAPA was willing to jump right in bed with the CMA (as you would expect them or any other chapters to do). I'm not so sure the state chapters will be as willing as we would like.

 

Both the name change and nat'l advertising will cost millions.

The name change seems easier for us to drive philosophically right now.

 

The AAPA consistently runs a budget surplus, as we have been told in the past. Whatever battles they have to fight may be, but dismissing the needs/desires of their consitutency purely over cost doesn't cut it with me.

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The name change will be massively expensive. Like millions of dollars. People think the AAPA should do this, but it isn't up to them. All the AAPA can do, is send it through the HOD, and provide a recommendation to change the name.

 

IT WILL STILL BE UP TO EACH STATE'S CHAPTER, to find a legislator, hire lobbyists, and move the legislation through.

 

If you really want to change our name, the AAPA is the wrong place to start, you should be contacting your state chapter. The AAPA is rather powerless in this perspective, outside of providing some funding assistance to the state chapters should they decide to pursue it.

 

How much are you willing to pay? Are you willing to contribute 500-1000 dollars per PA? Cause the money has to come from somewhere, and the AAPA has other battles to fight as well.

 

I support it, and yes, I would willing to give 500 dollars to my state chapter if needed for this purpose.

 

I would be willing to give up $500 too and I"m only a soon to be student.

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The AAPA are the closest ones to us with the money- which they have no intention of using to support this cause (as they have stated), so they have no functional role in the name change.

 

Look how recently CAPA was willing to jump right in bed with the CMA (as you would expect them or any other chapters to do). I'm not so sure the state chapters will be as willing as we would like.

 

Both the name change and nat'l advertising will cost millions.

The name change seems easier for us to drive philosophically right now.

 

The AAPA consistently runs a budget surplus, as we have been told in the past. Whatever battles they have to fight may be, but dismissing the needs/desires of their consitutency purely over cost doesn't cut it with me.

 

If the AAPA refuse to invest in the name change, why don't every pro-physician associate pa cancel their aapa membership? That would wake them up.

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How about designating and targeting a State where the name change could most easily or likely to be obtained? Then, focus our collective efforts and financial efforts there, and try to "domino" this and repeat.

 

that's a great idea. maybe start in wa or nc.

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The AAPA are the closest ones to us with the money- which they have no intention of using to support this cause (as they have stated), so they have no functional role in the name change.

 

Look how recently CAPA was willing to jump right in bed with the CMA (as you would expect them or any other chapters to do). I'm not so sure the state chapters will be as willing as we would like.

 

Both the name change and nat'l advertising will cost millions.

The name change seems easier for us to drive philosophically right now.

 

The AAPA consistently runs a budget surplus, as we have been told in the past. Whatever battles they have to fight may be, but dismissing the needs/desires of their consitutency purely over cost doesn't cut it with me.

 

 

The AAPA can't do it without the HOD approving it. It would need to go through the HOD, then EACH state would have to submit a request for assistance to the AAPA. And that's assuming that every state will support this.

 

The last time this was brought up in the HOD, there wasn't a lot of support from all the state chapters. This where your efforts should be focused. Trying to focus on the AAPA is the wrong approach with this issue.

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I am please to report that a lot has been happening behind the scenes on this issue since we posted this letter. I have never seen the momentum building on this issue in the 29 years I've been a PA. If this is ever going to happen, it is going to happen now. We need your support. If you haven't yet, please pass our position letter on to every PA that you know. We can do this.

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I am please to report that a lot has been happening behind the scenes on this issue since we posted this letter. I have never seen the momentum building on this issue in the 29 years I've been a PA. If this is ever going to happen, it is going to happen now. We need your support. If you haven't yet, please pass our position letter on to every PA that you know. We can do this.

 

Thank you sir for the update. I agree that now is the time! As a soon to be PA student, I feel so priviledged to be part of this movement.

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Just out of curiosity, if a name change did occur would it apply to Pathologists Assistants as well? I am a PathA student and we are governed by a different organization than all other types of PAs (still called the AAPA, but its the American Association of Pathologists Assistants).

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