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For EVERYONE voting in the recent poll for "PHYSICIAN ASSOCIATE"....Can you please explain to me...exactly what an ASSOCIATE PHYSICIAN actually means????


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I mean seriously.....What exactly is a "Physician Associate" and exactly HOW does that describe what we do?   Please...since so many seem to be in favor of it, please do explain.  Is it just the PA that tickles you?

If that's it, then lets go for Physical assailant or Philosophical Astronaught.....

 

 

You get my point....

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Sigh... Yes Medical Practitioner is the best title IMHO. Yes, it describes what we do very nicely. Yes, it contrasts Nurse Practitioner very nicely while clearly displaying the differences between us and them. Yes, it is a title that gives us our OWN path. 

But.... Is it realistic? I honestly don't think so. 

While medical practitioner is a great title, many other profession use the very title to broadly define professions who provide care in the medical arena. It's a title that could ruffle many feathers, and could potentially cause confusion. 

Don't get me wrong. I more than welcome Medical Practitioner as our future title, and would be more than thrilled if it were implemented. I just think Physician Associate would be easier. PAs who don't like it could just continue using "PA" as their title. It caries a sense of tradition and history with it. It matches our counterparts in the UK. And it would more or less fly under the radar IMO--which may or may not be a good thing. 

Anyways... Medical Practitioner or Physician associate. I do honestly think--and hope--it will come down to either of these as the final decision. 

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I dont understand the need to not "ruffle feathers". Physicians are not concerned about ruffling feathers... NP's certainly are not. I feel it is this very attitude that is resulting in us being pushed around and left behind. We need to stop worrying about offending people who dont care about offending us.

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An Associate Physician is what Missouri wanted to call FMGs and those who don't pass the FLEX - thus, flunked out doctors -they wanted to call them Associate Physicians and give them some sort of messed up license while they worked with a licensed MD/DO to earn some sort  of right to practice. NOT ok with that plan.

Getting Assistant out of our name would be great. Keeping the abbreviation PA would keep us from having to redo business cards, letterhead, licenses, diplomas, etc.

Physician Associate is the best way - so far - that puts us in a better light name wise.

I like Medical Practitioner - might be hard to sell. An MP is military police, and probably a thousand other things.

PA goes on forever - Port Authority, Public Announcer, Patient Advocate, etc etc 

So, we need to do something - more than a name change, we need advocacy, support or NPs are going to run us into the ground - without the skills or effectiveness to back it up. 

My old crusty 2 cents

 

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And hence the problem.  Some of us have carved out a niche that is mostly independent, while others of us are still definitively assisting physicians in their practice.  What is the appropriate name?

If we go with MP....well, isn't that a (real) Doctor?  

This is a tough problem without clear solutions.  We should dial back the rhetoric that is used to silence those of us who are not completely on board with these changes.  We should be able to disagree professionally without being castigated as "old", or "impotent", or told to "shut up".

 

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10 hours ago, Boatswain2PA said:

 

If we go with MP....well, isn't that a (real) Doctor?  

 
 

My physical therapist calls herself a doctor while calls us ASSISTANTS. If you want to be FOREVER ASSISTANT go ahead, OLD FART.

PA will no longer be just physician assistant. We shall soon be working for DNP owned clinics and DNP bosses and be referred to as  "PROVIDER ASSISTANTS."  F**king PROVIDER ASSISTANTS. Kidding me.. damnn

A Patient will be asking DNP docs, " what is PA and why does he work for you Dr. Nurse (DNP)?" The DNP doc will respond, "They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE to the clinic. that is why they are PA's. They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE" YUCK.

Good luck working for your DNP boss boatswain. Dogmatic old PA's that don't want change like you will make this reality

Edited by ArmyVetDude
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PA stands for a lot of other professios, and physician assistant is not the first to typically pop up,  Medical Practioner may not be the choice, but shouldn’t be because of MP’s in military.

What do NP’s that “assist” physicians in same jobs as PA’s call themselves? Are they not “assists”?........ Post op, patient has to see practitioner rather than doc or “assistant” rather than doc. My old aunt wants the practitioner!

Physician Associate awful far close to the Associate Physician. And WHY do something to keep initials just because it easier to change business cards, name plate, etc. ? Like pulling out a thorn, it may hurt momentarily, but oh the relief when it’s finally done!!  

 

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Boatswain2PA:  "We should be able to disagree professionally without being castigated as "old", or "impotent", or told to "shut up"."

ArmyVetDude:  

"My physical therapist calls herself a doctor while calls us ASSISTANTS. If you want to be FOREVER ASSISTANT go ahead, OLD FART.

PA will no longer be just physician assistant. We shall soon be working for DNP owned clinics and DNP bosses and be PROVIDING ASSISTANT.

A Patient will ask, " what is PA and why does he work for you Dr. Nurse (DNP)?" The DNP doc will respond, "They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE to the clinic. that is why they are PA's. They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE" YUCK.

Good luck working for your DNP boss boatswain. Dogmatic old PA's that don't want change like you deserve to be put in that place."

---------------------------------

Seriously Mods/Admin.  You folks are okay with this?

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1 hour ago, ral said:

Boatswain2PA:  "We should be able to disagree professionally without being castigated as "old", or "impotent", or told to "shut up"."

ArmyVetDude:  

"My physical therapist calls herself a doctor while calls us ASSISTANTS. If you want to be FOREVER ASSISTANT go ahead, OLD FART.

PA will no longer be just physician assistant. We shall soon be working for DNP owned clinics and DNP bosses and be PROVIDING ASSISTANT.

A Patient will ask, " what is PA and why does he work for you Dr. Nurse (DNP)?" The DNP doc will respond, "They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE to the clinic. that is why they are PA's. They PROVIDE ASSISTANCE" YUCK.

Good luck working for your DNP boss boatswain. Dogmatic old PA's that don't want change like you deserve to be put in that place."

---------------------------------

Seriously Mods/Admin.  You folks are okay with this?

Points can be made without personal attacks, especially attacks without any substance adding to the dialogue. Action taken.

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On 3/23/2019 at 6:38 PM, Cideous said:

I mean seriously.....What exactly is a "Physician Associate" and exactly HOW does that describe what we do?   Please...since so many seem to be in favor of it, please do explain.  Is it just the PA that tickles you?

If that's it, then lets go for Physical assailant or Philosophical Astronaught.....

 

 

You get my point....

I agree. There are plenty of names that describe what we do and have a good chance of passing, even if some think they are “ridiculous”. Further, I believe the name change should not only describe our medical practice, but also show we are a separate profession from physicians. We are members on the healthcare team, same as NPs, RTs, paramedics, pharmacists, that deserve our own distinct scope of practice separate from physicians. Some of us in our profession do “assist” physicians, but so do some nurses and pharmacists, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of acting alone.

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1 hour ago, Cideous said:

 

So no one has answered my question.  The Topic of this thread...

How do the words "Physician" and "Associate" apply to us?

 

Anyone?  <crickets>

if you sign on to OTP, we are members of a team with physicians practicing medicine, not as assistants, but as associates.

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Definition of Associate:   "a person with limited or subordinate membership of an organization."

 

So this is what we are in relation to Docs?

 

Well EMEDPA at least you took a stab at answering my question.  I think the definition speaks for itself though....

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Physician; only really related to physician because currently must be teathered to them in some way, whether you say supervising manditory collaboration, still the physicians pawn. Education is not typically stated physician education, rather trained in Medical model, like physicians. 

Asociate is a partner or subordinate. Generally speaking, when not a business group of associates, it is just a step above assistant, but it's a position in which you can further advance....Not likely! As long as tied, there will be no further advancement.

Every healthcare profession should and does collaborate for the betterment of patients. None of them, except PA and decreasing number of NP require specific oversight of another profession to basically allow them to legally work.

Little off topic.., but If you, anyone wants to continue as is, playing nice and requiring physician, or qualified healthcare provider agreement to work, why not go back to BS degree like PTA, OTA, SLPA, cause that's what you are.  With the current education, it is just wrong for employment to be dependent upon another...Doesn't mean there shouldn't be some definite phase in to independence, no way for new any PA or NP out alone without at least 3 years and specified related CEU at least equal to physician. I think PAs generally do this anyway.

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43 minutes ago, Hope2PA said:

no way for new any PA or NP out alone without at least 3 years and specified related CEU at least equal to physician. I think PAs generally do this anyway.

yup, I agree with this. I didn't work solo until I had been a PA for 5 years after 10 prior years as an ER tech and paramedic

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6 hours ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

I agree. There are plenty of names that describe what we do and have a good chance of passing, even if some think they are “ridiculous”. Further, I believe the name change should not only describe our medical practice, but also show we our a separate profession from physicians. We are members on the healthcare team, same as NPs, RTs, paramedics, pharmacists, that deserve our own distinct scope of practice separate from physicians. Some of us and our profession do “assist” physicians, but so do some nurses and pharmacists, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of acting alone.

Just talking philosophically here (and also I do not support continued use of "assistant". )

But do we actually have our own "distinct" scope of practice? Our own unique body of knowledge? We learn in a model based off of medical school, with a year of preclinical studies and then rotations across core specialties. The textbooks I use are mostly written by physicians, for physicians (or physicians in training). We learn to approach clinical scenarios the same way that docs do: obtain a chief complaint, formulate a differential, narrow it during HPI and pertinent ROS, do an exam and lab testing to confirm suspected pathology based on knowledge of the body in health and disease. My teachers are physicians or PAs. 

It seems to me that we learn medicine, the same medicine that physicians do, but in an abbreviated format and without a formally required residency after our primary medical education. The differences are logistical and temporal, but not epistemological like nursing or physical therapy. They have their own unique approaches to patient care that are separate and distinct from medicine. Pharmacy has a different focus that overlaps sometimes. 

But these points are what makes this such a hard debate to have. 

 

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8 hours ago, lemurcatta said:

Just talking philosophically here (and also I do not support continued use of "assistant". )

But do we actually have our own "distinct" scope of practice? Our own unique body of knowledge? We learn in a model based off of medical school, with a year of preclinical studies and then rotations across core specialties. The textbooks I use are mostly written by physicians, for physicians (or physicians in training). We learn to approach clinical scenarios the same way that docs do: obtain a chief complaint, formulate a differential, narrow it during HPI and pertinent ROS, do an exam and lab testing to confirm suspected pathology based on knowledge of the body in health and disease. My teachers are physicians or PAs. 

It seems to me that we learn medicine, the same medicine that physicians do, but in an abbreviated format and without a formally required residency after our primary medical education. The differences are logistical and temporal, but not epistemological like nursing or physical therapy. They have their own unique approaches to patient care that are separate and distinct from medicine. Pharmacy has a different focus that overlaps sometimes. 

But these points are what makes this such a hard debate to have. 

 

Part of the logical error here is that physicians are not all the same. Doctor of osteopathy and medicine are different and many states have their own unique boards. They both do are allowed to do the same things and trained in similar, but not identical, manner. Up until recently there were osteopathic only residencies.

Further into that realm, and only slightly off topic, their is not requirement to be trained as a specialist in any state. All states require one, and some two, years of residency. Make no mistake, there are physicians practicing emergency medicine in BFE who have less time in residency than me. They have hospital privleged and bill insurance, same as their BC colleagues.

Correct, we do not have text entirely written by PAs, with the exception of some procedural texts, but we could. We have our own distinct residencies, our own curriculum (med students aren’t required to do an EM rotation for example, my peds resident buddy did NICU instead). We could be entirely trained by other PAs.

so given that there are two professions with similar scopes already in medicine, I do not see why there can’t be a third. Now I’m not saying we should have the same unlimited national scope that physicians have (legally an IM doc could do open heart surgery and it not be a criminal act), I don’t they should either, but we definitely have carved out a set our skills that we have mastery of.

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On 3/24/2019 at 10:16 PM, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

 so given that there are two professions with similar scopes already in medicine, I do not see why there can’t be a third. Now I’m not saying we should have the same unlimited national scope that physicians have (legally an IM doc could do open heart surgery and it not be a criminal act), I don’t they should either, but we definitely have carved out a set our skills that we have mastery of.

Agree. Remember, NP in some states are already independent. Some pharmacists are also able to prescribe OCP. Optometrist and ophthalmologist are both doctors. There is a lot of overlap between many health professionals already. 

I think what makes the PA profession unique is "generalist training." We are bringing back the general practitioner (GPs). I am aware a large portion of us are specializing but we are still able to fill in the gap more quickly than physicians even after a PA residency. For example, an EMPA with residency take average 3.5 to 4 years of training (PA school + residency) compare to an ER physician 7 to 8 years (Med school + 3 to 4 years EM training). Think about a cardiothoracic surgery pa training time VS a CT surgeon.  A CT surgeon probably needs 10 years of formal training. I am not saying a CTPA should be doing CT surgery alone, but we can fill in the gap and we should be responsible for the care we provide and not be a liability to the physicians.  The PA profession is very unique and we should be promoting that, we are Medical Practitioners , with proper training we can fill in the gap and strengthen the team in any specialty. All PA school should award a doctorate degree to keep up with all other health professionals (Yes, I know it is a degree creep, but we have to play the game). We are not physician. A physician is physician. We are Medical Practitioner. 

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9 minutes ago, majetito said:

Interesting that the official Spanish translation for Physician Assistant for decades has been:

Asociado Medico  (Physician Associate)

Is that an official term anywhere, or just how Spanish speaking PAs have unofficially translated it? Puerto Rico recently passed legislation to allow PAs to practice there (definitely good news), but unfortunately PAs will become licensed as "medicos asistentes" there. 

If we're going through the trouble to change the title of our profession, we might as well take both "physician" and "assistant" out of it and choose a title that can be uniquely ours.   

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