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PA-Physician relationship

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I have worked with many physicians in my career so far. I have an incomparable relatoinship with the chief surgeon at my current practice. I've had at least 4 other job offers siec being here and turned them all down based largely on wanting to keep working with this doc.


-treated like a colleague, not an "assistant"

-a doc who will progressively teach to the PA's abilities, so that the PA gathers more and more skill/autonomy/responsibility

-that each considers the other a friend as much (if not more) as they are coworkers

-someone who will go to bat for you when you need an advocate (support, benefits, compensation, worklife, etc)


and most importantly

there is an old saying about "The Three A's" of a great surgeon (doc):





If they approach their relationship with PAs in the same way, you're in good shape.

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AndersonPA, that was said perfectly. I left that kind of environment to become a PA, at the encouragement of the three best physicians i have ever known, and they treated their entire staff like co-workers, and with such respect that they have retained more employees for longer than any other department in the multispecialty practice, despite being one of the most overworked departments. Being happy to go to work everyday, not only because of what you do, but because of who you work with makes life seem a thousand times easier than if you don't.

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treat me like a peer

treat me with respect

teach and I will learn, but also be open to learning what I have to teach

don't try to retire off my efforts - pay me a fair wage - if you are not sure what this is look at the AAPA salary data and realize that the 50% percentile is exactly that - if you keep me happy I will make you A LOT of money over the next number of years.


do an occasional nice thing for no reason (this is just good management) ie buy a book, take out to lunch, give me a small bonus ie $100, give me an extra day off


Say nice things in public, say constructive things in private


NEVER undermine me to a patient - if it is a stylistic choice on a clinical decision realize it and back me up (if there is no threat to patient safety think very very hard before changing A/P of a patient). If you change a plan let me know why - amazingly enough "I have known this family for 35 years and this is what we should do" might even be enough if I am seeing them for the first few times.


Allow me to share some of the pressures of running a practice - sometimes we actually really understand what needs to be done..... realizing that many PA's used to have huge life experience prior to being a PA and we might bring a very valuable view point


and my current pet peeve - let me run my own schedule - you can put qualifiers on it - but no one like having every minute of every day dictated to them and patient volumes forced onto them

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You know, this might just be something about my temperament and personality, and I've always found it relevant to my various work roles, but it really, REALLY applies to my PA career: I've come to have a lot of respect for the Pygmalion Effect.


In a nutshell, if my boss appears to think of me as someone who can't be trusted to do the most basic things without a stifling amount of close supervision, I find I'm a lot less interested in impressing that person (although I will strive to get them to leave me alone). If my boss acts as though I'm capable of handling things on my own, I really am -- and if I'm not, it's kind of amazing how hard I'll work to become so.

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