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corpsman89

Changing the professional title of Physician Assistants (***POLL***)

Changing the Professional Tittle of Physician Assistants (***POLL***)  

237 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think is the BEST title for our profession?

    • Physician Assistant (PA)
      4
    • Physician Associate (PA)
      92
    • Medical Practitioner (MP)
      99
    • Advanced Practice Provider (APP)
      10
    • Advanced Medical Practitioner (AMP)
      10
    • Clinical Officer (CO)
      2
    • Clinical Associate (CA)
      2
    • Advanced Provider (AP)
      1
    • Advanced Clinician (AC)
      1
    • Assistant Physician (AP)
      3
    • Associate Physician (AP)
      10
    • PA
      1
    • Other
      2


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Seeing as the HOD meeting will be occuring in several days, and a resolution (b-14) focused on forming a comittee to research title change, I figured it would be a good idea to get a poll going on what memebers here thought would be a good title. Many people participated in the discussion I started a while ago addressing title change and many names were talked about on the thread. I think I listed most of them in the poll. 

Link of the resolution (B-14) regarding title change:

https://www.aapa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Speakers_Update_April_2018-Final.pdf

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although I have been a long time proponent of physician associate, I now see the logic of a name that includes neither physician nor assistant. My vote is clinical associate, although most of the other options are good as well. 

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I'm curious, for the person or persons who voted PA, could you please explain why PA, since you didn't vote Physician Assistant or Physician Associate?  Lets say I am a patient, I am told/aware that an MD is Medical Doctor; DO, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine; DDS, Doctor of Dentist; NP, Nurse Practitioner; PA, ugh, well I'm a PA. Now what is a PA anyway? That's it, just a PA... Yep, lets just keep the professional identity vague so patients still have no clue.  At least it wouldn't offend any other professionals that so adamantly(jk) support us. 

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32 minutes ago, Hope2PA said:

I'm curious, for the person or persons who voted PA, could you please explain why PA, since you didn't vote Physician Assistant or Physician Associate?  Lets say I am a patient, I am told/aware that an MD is Medical Doctor; DO, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine; DDS, Doctor of Dentist; NP, Nurse Practitioner; PA, ugh, well I'm a PA. Now what is a PA anyway? That's it, just a PA... Yep, lets just keep the professional identity vague so patients still have no clue.  At least it wouldn't offend any other professionals that so adamantly(jk) support us. 

"PA" is technically the AAPAs stance on our title currently. Yes, believe it or not, they would rather try to make our name go away by calling ourselves "PA's" instead of pushing for a title change. It's crazy, because, uhhh, what happens when people ask you "what is a PA?" 

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There is a long thread on the Huddle right now about referring to yourself as a PA. The conversation is being driven by a a PA who is also an attorney. It was an interesting read even though I didn't agree with everything he said.

My personal ice-pick-behind-the-eyes pain is people who want to pick a title with the same letters so they don't have to have their scrubs and white coats re-embroidered. *sigh*

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Is there a reason general practitioner isn’t on there? It’s personally one of my favorites. 

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I think General Practitioner may fit family med, but it would not necessarily suit a surgical or pediatric etc provider.

 Physician Associate is not so bad, however the physicians I know do not want us as Associates, they have other physicians as associates. Offices are built with name Physician Associates of..., meaning a group of physicians. There would likely be an understandable push back from them.  In fact, wasn't that title attempted several years back but physicians were very much opposing the change? How is it going to be different now?  

To Corpsman89, yes, it appears some would prefer no name. How about we just respond to, hey you!

Whether we like it or not perception and title elicit respect. Many years ago Physician Assistant was respected, especially in the military and VAMC.  It is now doing nothing but pulling the profession down, and other providers are happy to help by marketing themselves and reminding patients that PA's are only assistants(not speculation, I have personally heard the words...more than once, I am a  ________ provider, they are just assistants.

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4 hours ago, corpsman89 said:

"PA" is technically the AAPAs stance on our title currently. Yes, believe it or not, they would rather try to make our name go away by calling ourselves "PA's" instead of pushing for a title change. It's crazy, because, uhhh, what happens when people ask you "what is a PA?" 

According to this article by AAPA a while ago, they expect us to become the next IBM or BMW. Give me a break...

 https://www.aapa.org/career-central/physician-assistant-pa/

“The most important consideration in whether to use an acronym or initialism is whether it is already well recognized,” says Mike DiFrisco, a marketing consultant who has written and spoken frequently on this topic and is founder of the consulting firm BrandXcellence. “If there is equity in those initials, there is a benefit there. Everybody knows what IBM and BMW are even if they don’t know what the letters stand for.”

While the transition can take time, DiFrisco cautioned, perceptions can change remarkably in a few years: “AARP [formerly the American Association of Retired Persons] formally changed its name 12 years ago, and now some people have no idea what AARP used to stand for. With any rebranding it takes time to be inculcated in the consciousness. The important thing is to infuse meaning into those initials. It will take some time and work but it sounds like it’s the right thing to do.”

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I wish this poll could have been ranked, such as "pick your top three" because there are a lot of good options there.

Back in the 1990's, the ICCP changed CCP from "certified computer programmer" to "Certified Computing Professional" and CDP from "Certified Data Processor" to "Certified Data Professional", keeping the acronym but changing the underlying words as the field evolved.  That's why I support physician associate: It may not be the one I would pick if we were starting from a blank slate... but we're not.

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28 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

I wish this poll could have been ranked, such as "pick your top three" because there are a lot of good options there.

Back in the 1990's, the ICCP changed CCP from "certified computer programmer" to "Certified Computing Professional" and CDP from "Certified Data Processor" to "Certified Data Professional", keeping the acronym but changing the underlying words as the field evolved.  That's why I support physician associate: It may not be the one I would pick if we were starting from a blank slate... but we're not.

 We will end up being Physician's associate. No one will know we practice medicine. The patient will be like "so you are the physician's associate, where is the physician?"  Back to square one.

I support Medical Practitioner because: 

  1. Similar naming style as Medical Doctor. “Medical Doctors and Medical Practitioners working as a team”. It will be easier for patients to understand that relationship. We’re not just here to take blood pressure, height, and weight. We are here to make Medical decisions.  

  2. It will work internationally like MD because it is easier to translate to different languages when compared with Physician Associate/Assistant. We’re always someone’s Assistant or Associate in any other languages.

  3. It will differentiate us from Nurse Practitioners. They practice Advanced Nursing and we practice Medicine.

  4. Patient understands what we do just by our name.  (This is a very powerful reason. The patient will know we practice medicine because it is in our name)

  5. Administrative people will finally understand that we are not someone’s assistant or associate. We practice medicine too and should belong to the boardroom table and day to day decision making.

  6. There is no physician or doctor in this name, so by definition, we shouldn't be confused with a physician or a doctor.  

  7. I  will no longer introduce myself with an acronym. I will tell the patient I am a Medical practitioner because it is self-explanatory. When was the last time you heard a Medical doctor introduced themselves as an "MD" to a patient? 

 

Edited by PACali
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The only thing I see wrong with 'medical practitioner' is that a Venn Diagram of MDs and DOs also would put them inside the term's domain. That may be a nitpick, but if we're going to go to something as if from square one, I want it to truly uniquely describe US and no one else.

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I was thinking. 

I imagine this will not pass. With the ticket priced so dramatically high I think many HOD voters will become frightened and immediately believe that OTP will be in threat if this new agenda is passed. 

BUT, I think it is absolutely CRITICAL that this passes before OTP, or at least before we push hard for OTP. Here is why:

1) A title change would stir up much interest in the AAPA and I imagine the AAPA would see a massive membership increase, and therefore increasing money revenue. 

2) People that are already AAPA members will likely see the opportunity, realize that it will be expensive and will hopefully begin contributing money towards this goal to the AAPA. 

3) MANY people other than PAs will have to get involved, either directly, or indirectly. This includes media, business types, other medical folk, the general population, and most importantly legislatures. 

4) We will be in the public eye. Yes, this may not be all good, but I am positive that it will mostly be and I hope we would gain the support of most people for this move. 

5) With new support, both from PAs and non-PAs, people will finally be able to be educated on what OTP really is, and how we can achieve it. 

WHY is all this important? Because with every one of these steps OTP becomes easier to achieve. We will have more members, more money, and more people will be aware of who we are and what we do. 

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15 hours ago, rev ronin said:

The only thing I see wrong with 'medical practitioner' is that a Venn Diagram of MDs and DOs also would put them inside the term's domain. That may be a nitpick, but if we're going to go to something as if from square one, I want it to truly uniquely describe US and no one else.

Aren't PA's(have to use title, but grown to hate) trained on the medical model like MD and DO?  The PA training is built from MD education, so would make sense to be part of or linked to their domain.  I may not be clear on OTP, but isn't the goal to remain somewhat connected with MD and DO?  Does anyone know a physician that introduces themselves as or even uses the term medical practitioner? Maybe medical provider as it is a more general term. 

My very unofficial poll of family, friends and geriatric patients, love the Medical Practitioner title.  I mentioned other suggestions, they asked, what the Advanced meant, more advanced than what other provider; Associate was met with "like an associate professor only associate doctor?"; and Assistant, doesn't sound like what you do, it is easily confused with Medical Assistants (high school or Votech certificate programs).

BTW, many of the folks in my "unofficial poll" all non medical backgrounds,  have called their respective congressmen/women (3 states represented) to support H.R. 5506. It will take family, friends, even patients.

The profession has been around 50 years and people still do not understand or recognize what a Physician Assistant or PA really is. Even though AAPA says to just use PA, patients will still ask what does PA stand for, and employers still require Physician Assistant to be listed under name to describe what PA means. 

Suck it up and spend the $$$ to make a real, not a half..... change..  I, again, agree 100% with corpsman89, membership will increase.  I pledge to add a donation above membership cost, but not until I see action.

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Pardons if I am repeating myself because I have this conversation a lot......physicians don't think of us as associates (generally). Only another physician can be an associate of a physician and many physician groups are organized at PA (Physician Associates).

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So here is the thing.  I have started the revolution.  When I enter the the room with a new patient I say this...everytime:

 

"Hi, I am Blankety Blank, I am your Medical Practitioner today, what can I do for you?"

 

 

It flows perfectly, every patient knows I am the person providing them care...not some "assistant".  I have done it now...oh I dunno, over 1000x and not once had a patient take issue.  Never had anyone confused, never been questioned for what it is I am.  I still have "physician assistant" on my name badge because that is required by law, but referring to myself as a "Medical Practitioner" has been the broad and ACCURATE description of what I am there to do.

I encourage all PA's to do this.  When patients know us as Medical Practitioners as a whole, our impotent leaders will have no choice but to change the name and drag us into the 21st century.

Edited by Cideous
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13 minutes ago, Cideous said:

So here is the thing.  I have started the revolution.  When I enter the the room with a new patient I stay this...everytime:

 

"Hi, I am Blankety Blank, I am your Medical Practitioner today, what can I do for you?"

 

 

It flows perfectly, every patient knows I am the person providing them care...not some "assistant".  I have done it now...oh I dunno, over 1000x and not once had a patient take issue.  Never had anyone confused, never been questioned for what it is I am.  I still have "physician assistant" on my name badge because that is required by law, but referring to myself as a "Medical Practitioner" has been the broad and ACCURATE description of what I am there to do.

I encourage all PA's to do this.  When patients know us as Medical Practitioners as a whole, our impotent leaders will have no choice but to change the name and drag us into the 21st century.

I do they relate medical practitioner to physician assistant? They just might think you are a doctor or NP which does NOT help our profession. I am not a lawyer, but you could be representing yourself in the wrong light and could open a can a worms from using MP instead of PA. You are NOT a MP by profession, as I agree with the name, but again you cannot call yourself by a title that YOU think is correct as that could be illegal (again NOT giving legal advice) just talking out loud. I understand that MP is better, but I would be careful, but seriously how do they know you are a PA? I don't think you are helping us at all unless you said something like, "Hi I am a PA, I am your medical practitioner today, how may I help you?" I think that would be a little safer...and also help OUR profession and not having them confusing us as a MD/DO or NP. Just my 2 cents....I would like to hear from others...

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29 minutes ago, camoman1234 said:

I do they relate medical practitioner to physician assistant? They just might think you are a doctor or NP which does NOT help our profession. I am not a lawyer, but you could be representing yourself in the wrong light and could open a can a worms from using MP instead of PA. You are NOT a MP by profession, as I agree with the name, but again you cannot call yourself by a title that YOU think is correct as that could be illegal (again NOT giving legal advice) just talking out loud. I understand that MP is better, but I would be careful, but seriously how do they know you are a PA? I don't think you are helping us at all unless you said something like, "Hi I am a PA, I am your medical practitioner today, how may I help you?" I think that would be a little safer...and also help OUR profession and not having them confusing us as a MD/DO or NP. Just my 2 cents....I would like to hear from others...

QUE my "not worried" face.  You see my entire organization refers to all the providers as Medical Practitionors.   It's a vague term that captures all of us.  MD's, DO's, NP's and PA's.   We get emails addressed "attention all Medical Practitioners".  In context it is a catch all....AND it is a name not currently in use by any other licensed professionals.  Sometimes I call myself the Medical Provider....why?  Because of the 4 different companies I work for, that's another phrase they use to refer to us.

You see it's exactly this kind of fearful mentality...Oooooh, oooooh no!  (shudder), we can't make any changes, we can't move this profession forward...whatever will we do if we can't call ourselves "Assistants"!...........Mentality, that is going to kill this profession inside of 10 years.  

We have 5 years max to save this profession, if we do nothing, after that it won't matter.  The next five will be death throws.

And if that doesn't scare you, it should.  Go back and search the threads on this board titled, "What else can I do with a PA degree".  The answer is in the infamous words of Chris Farley, "JACK SQUAT".

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10 minutes ago, Cideous said:

"What else can I do with a PA degree".  The answer is in the infamous words of Chris Farley, "JACK SQUAT".

You could live in a van.  Down by the river.

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3 minutes ago, thinkertdm said:

You could live in a van.  Down by the river.

lol exactly.

 

And if we don't change our name, a lot of new PA's with massive school loan debt and no jobs just might be doing that.

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49 minutes ago, Cideous said:

QUE my "not worried" face.  You see my entire organization refers to all the providers as Medical Practitionors.   It's a vague term that captures all of us.  MD's, DO's, NP's and PA's.   We get emails addressed "attention all Medical Practitioners".  In context it is a catch all....AND it is a name not currently in use by any other licensed professionals.  Sometimes I call myself the Medical Provider....why?  Because of the 4 different companies I work for, that's another phrase they use to refer to us.

You see it's exactly this kind of fearful mentality...Oooooh, oooooh no!  (shudder), we can't make any changes, we can't move this profession forward...whatever will we do if we can't call ourselves "Assistants"!...........Mentality, that is going to kill this profession inside of 10 years.  

We have 5 years max to save this profession, if we do nothing, after that it won't matter.  The next five will be death throws.

And if that doesn't scare you, it should.  Go back and search the threads on this board titled, "What else can I do with a PA degree".  The answer is in the infamous words of Chris Farley, "JACK SQUAT".

No need to be a dick about everything on here and you are not the ultimate say so when it comes to naming the profession. You can call yourself clinical officer, but that does not what is the legal name that we have. You do what you want to. I am not scared to change the profession, I want a different name, but we do NOT have that changed yet so we still gotta call ourselves "PA" that is why I am sticking to it cause of legal issues. Lastly, you can do a lot with a PA degree if you would investigate that prior to spewing your uneducated views on "jack squat" with a masters degree. Please keep your condescending tone to yourself. We are all professionals and it is very hard to take you serious when you treat everyone like you do when you do not agree with something. I would eat you alive if I were your CP/colleague and you talked to me like you do on here. It is much easier over a forum than in person. 

Edited by camoman1234
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