Moderator EMEDPA Posted January 22, 2012 Moderator Share Posted January 22, 2012 Glen E. Combs here. Past president of the AAPA. Let there be no mistake that the current title Physician Assistant will change to Physician Associate by the end of the decade. Unfortunately, The AAPA leadership believes that the sweeping change will cost too much. You are going to hear the continued diatribe that "The Academy has too many more pressing issues to contend with"... and certainly will not have any money to throw at this political hot potato. The census question on title change is flawed due in part of to attempting to sway the vote based on "How much would you want to pay to see the change?". To link the title change to a threat of having to pay for it makes the question biased. Personally, I would like to give the Academy leadership the opportunity to do the right thing and give fellow members the freedom to call themselves Physician Assistants or Physician Associates. I am hopeful a resolution to the Toronto HOD will appear and be considered as the way to go in resolving this 20 year debate. This is what I would like to see in the 2012 AAPA policy book "The AAPA is a democratic organization that feels the title that fellow members use should be of personal choice. The AAPA will not take a position to block or obstruct the wishes of it's membership. Furthermore, the AAPA will remain neutral on this issue allowing the trend of changing the title left up to the fellow member. The fellow member assuming responsibility for changing their title is advised not to violate any law. What we, who support the name change, need to do is offer the Academy cover and not to force or demand the Academy to take a stand at this time. I believe if the Academy would take this position we would all win in the long run. PAs will gradually change their title to associate without malice. The trend will be monitored by the AAPA and in time rules and regulations will adopt the "new" title and at the same time the Academy will change it's name to the American Academy of Physician Associates. The PR alone will be enormous because we will market the new title to 3rd party payors, to medical boards and state legislatures. To re-invent our role is well over due. The last creditable role delineation study was conducted in the mid 1970's. The time has come to re-match the role to what we do best and that is practice medicine. I have been using the title physician associate for years. I have not been sued, jailed or criticized. Why have I adopted the title physician associate? Very simply, I am not an "assistant" to a primary care physician anymore. If the HOD fails to accept the "freedom of choice" resolution, I would have to really reconsider my life time membership with my beloved AAPA and my concern is multiplied by thousand of PAs who feel their voices are no longer being heard by the Academy leadership. If the leadership can not correct it's chronic deafness they risk the real possibility of loosing all ground in trying to attract new members and holding on to their 50% membership. They must accept the fact that we have too many issues that are hampered by continuing to use the old and historic title 'physician ASSISTANT" The title needs to be retired to the apostrophe's archive file and welcome our new title physician ASSOCIATE. I am gathering names and personal statements from prominent PAs across the nation who favor the title change. If you would like to be on the list please email your permission to use your name and statement. An example of a statement might be: "I support the name change because I feel the title physician assistant is no longer descriptive of my role causing confusion on the part of my patients". Send your statement (1 or 2 sentences), name and email address to: Glen E Combs, MA, PA-C - GEC122448@aol.com and I will be sure your position will be reflective in the position paper that I am preparing for the Toronto HOD. Thank you for your support and let's hope the HOD will support a resolution that gives our members a "freedom of choice" and end the title debate. gec Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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