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Do We Care Enough To Save Our Profession?

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 America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. President Abraham Lincoln.
This is not meant to be a political statement as I know we are limited by politics, which today is a source of division rather than unity. This is to ask us to look at our profession, its common enemies, and what we can do to correct our course before we waver too far. No, I am not an alarmist but have always been futuristic in my thinking, sort of a crystal ball for the profession, and that is my goal in this short post.
Lincoln suggests that we can destroy ourselves from within and the letter from our AAPA president this past week was on the same theme. she was discouraged by the comments made by the members of this and other forums concerning the election and while she was correct, they occurred because of human nature, our enthusiasm to see our candidates win and because endorsements by past presidents of the Academy only pit the new philosophy of the profession against an older and more subdued and less aggressive fraction who had their opportunity to make changes and now need to comment as members not using past titles to add apparent strength to their comments. This is my humble opinion. What are the enemies of our forward movement? Certainly our disunity about OTP but the solution is that we are not far enough in the discussion phase to make sweeping conclusive comments. Secondly, our educational requirements. A Doctorate degree is most impressive but is meant to be more sought after by academia, researchers and authors. the general PA population is fine with a Master's and those who have less, have practiced many years and have a wisdom and skill beyond a degree. Thirdly, our ability to disagree. I lost a great job opportunity in my past of a high administrative position because I hit "post" too quickly. If you have something of substance to say, wait 24 hours and then, go for it. Our attitude toward NPs. NPs are our sister profession, been the same year, a different culture, different tools but ultimately, they can practice in the same manner as PAs after the same time in a scope of practice, anywhere between 2-3 years. Experience has become our tutor along with CME and a desire to learn.
Let us decide to put away childish attitudes and instead to "love one another" and seek to surpass the expectations of the AMA as well as those who feel that they are the only leaders of the profession. We have a ripe group of new PAs and a great forum to make comment and discuss without angry words. This comment is meant for myself and others. Tone it down and seek to encourage and affirm and let Lincoln's words not be our epitaph.
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I'm done waiting.  

I'm done being subtle.  

I'm done being patient waiting for "something" to happen. 




I care about the next generation of PA's.  My tenure is coming to an end and I am sick and tired of sitting around trying to be "Civil" while NP's blaze past us at break neck speed.  We need a REVOLUTION in this field, not more "kind" words....

How's that for Civil?

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I feel your pain and am not referring to having to subscribe to our name which is why I have been published on this topic since 1997 in the major PA publications. I stuck my rear-end out there so that the AAPA could take potshots but never gave up on this until our last great defeat in the HOD three years ago. PA is better but far from what we need. The purpose of making my statement today was to respond to Gail Curtis for her letter as to what may be ticking off people like you. She has been president for one year and I did not even know about it except through publications. Changes and an agenda--invisible to me, but there is a damn good BOD now available to get change accomplished. Write the new president in June, as well as Mittman as both, will bring it up in BOD meetings. bob

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Bob I generally agree with the "why can't we just get along" philosophy but at times it becomes an anchor particularly when used as a tool by contingents who aren't really trying to get along. The vast majority of all the hue and cry during the election and in the discussions about OTP revolved around one person who, I think believing himself to be quite clever, was smearing candidates with words that have very negative connotations which pretending to mask them as a question or concern. Yes it made me angry and I, from time to time, responded too aggressively. It has always been my response to a bully....peace through superior firepower. Sometimes it has its place. Often it doesn't.

We are at a turning point for our profession. We are being left behind by way of simple political and financial realities that we haven't had to confront before. I am not an alarmist but I think this profession will be on life support in 5 years if we don't start making some changes quickly. NPs will simply force us out of the market by way of being easier to employ. The physicians, whom some still insist are our valuable and precious allies.....aren't. The small cabal of people who simply don't see this frustrate me to no end. Again..that shows more than it should.

So while I think we should all get along and be nice all the time titanic changes in the profession will bring fear and anger and frustration to the surface. There will also be a time and a place where the less-than-sweet people can and will be very effective. Sitting around with soft smiles on our faces being nice while someone runs us over makes no sense to me.

As always...your mileage may vary

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