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Name Change - Letter from Jenna Dorn, AAPA EVP and CEO


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I know I'm in the minority here, but I've always favored M.P. <Medical Practitioner> behind our name. I get the whole "matching letters" of PA/Physician Associate thing, but I would rather just leave it Physician Assistant if that's what we end up with. M.P. or Medical Practitioner is EXACTLY what we are. Practitioners of medicine.

 

practitioner |prakˈtiSHənər| nouna person actively engaged in an art, discipline, or profession, esp. medicine:

 

I know it will never change to this, but going from P.A.-C to M.P.-C is the real pivotal shift our profession needs if we are ever going to gain the respect from patients and colleagues that most feel our current name does not provide.

 

 

 

That and $4.06 will buy you a Starbucks.... :)

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Congratulations to the name change committee, for scoring your first victory on this long road to a title change. I'd like to take a quote from Mark Twain," there are lies, damn lies and statistics". Although you are claiming victory based on the results of the AAPA survey, 45% in favor of a title change is not a majority but a plurality. You really have to evaluate every piece of data in this survey before you can be assured that the end result will be favorable. I was very pleased to see that this survey went out to both members and non-members of the Academy. The mixed being approximately 60% members and 40% nonmembers responded to the survey. 15,000 responses is impressive and constitutes approximately 16% of the profession that was polled, which by most statistions account this survey would be considered statistically significant but not 100% reliable.

 

By dissecting the data, to me the most revealing statistics was the percentage of respondents that were willing to pay for the direct and indirect costs of a title change. Only 36% of those in favor of a title change were willing to pay for any costs associated with a title change. Most respondents were either not in favor or unsure. Could it be they were not in favor or unsure because they did not know all ramifications of a title change therefore not able to make an informed decision.

We have an issue for the name change committee to consider and that is the difference between the theory and reality. In theory, your 45% “majority” wants to change the title to Physician Associate but unfortunately, in reality 63% your supporters are not willing pay the price for their requests. Where do you expect the Academy and all the constituent chapters to get the funds to be able to accomplish this goal if the majority of the profession is not willing to take on the responsibility for paying for their requests? The only way these organizations will procure these funds is by the members of this profession either joining these organizations were willing to support them by other means.

 

The prudent thing for the name change committee to do is to rally there supporters around the fact that they have made a significance stride of moving forward in your goal to achieve a title change. But more importantly your committee must encourage every member of this profession to align with our professional organizations, and if I may, ask them to “belly up to the bar”. If we all embrace and engage with the Academy and the state chapters, the goal of a title change will be accomplished despite whatever the naysayer's proclaim. And I as I have stated in previous posts, if you're going to support any resolution in the HOD, encourage your delegates to vote for the Texas Academy resolution 2012-C-05. If passed this resolution will form a task force that will look into all the ramifications of a title change and may possibly sway all those not in favor or unsure to support a title change and be willing to pay for it.

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I will post the same response as I did to your identical thread on C1

 

  1. JDT-
    1. you say that we can’t add the pro name change +undecideds in order to determine a plurality vs majority (45.5 + 20.9) yet you do just that when you consider the results of the desire to pay (46.1 + 17.6). If we assert that 63% are not willing to pay then it logically follows that 66.4% favor the name change. We know that’s not the case. The undecideds in each group will have their own breakdown. It is likely that at least 4.5% of 20.9% of respondents who said undecided would favor the name change, reaching a 50% of total respondents.
    2. “Most respondents were either not in favor or unsure”
    This is inaccurate. You could just as easily say “most respondents were either in favor or unsure” (45.5 + 20.9). It’s easy to see how that wording makes the overal decision more positive favoring name change. Again, as you said, lies, damn lies, etc. Be careful how you word things.
    The AAPA, early on, was quick to dismiss the movement, saying “if you asked everyone if they want lower taxes, they would all say yes”...basically saying that most people will react first with their pocketbooks. YET the AAPA did just that by tying the philosophical need/desire for a title change to the cost.
     
    These issues should be appreciated as interconnected, but addressed individually to avoid obfuscation.

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a poster elsewhere described the aapa census question like this:

 

If the AAPA had written a less biased question, I think the results would have been more positive.

 

They should have simply asked, do you support a name change? Instead they phrased it as “Despite the fact we will need to kill puppies to have a name change, would you support a name change?”

“Hmm, well, if it means I have to kill puppies, then I suppose not.”

 

they are 2 separate questions:

should we change the name? if a majority say yes the next question is:

how should we pay for it?

I would assert that we are already paying for it with our aapa dues(that is not to say that I wouldn't give more-and I already have- to work on a name change). if a majority of pa's say it is a priority that means it is a priority over other things which we currently pay for. I am more interested for example in a name change for 100% of pa's than the ability of 20 pa's to order hospice services in mississippi.

I for one am tired of hearing the following:

"the senator doesn't take appointments with assistants"

"you are just an assistant, we should ask a DOCTOR about this...."

"only doctors, np's and chiropractors can order this, not assistants"

etc, etc, etc

this is a question of respect. assistants are not respected in american culture, they are discounted. associates are colleagues and partners. it's about time to get the respect we deserve. doing so will enable us to work to our full ability and better serve our patients.

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I think that your utilization of mathematics demonstrates the appropriateness of moving forwArd which will create a wave of individuals who make a decision and will be willing to pay the price to gain the prize. We have so much to win and cannot be derailed by those with no vision, political obstructions and the.

False sense of security that life is wonderful as they are lulled to sleep.

I remember hearing a story of lobsters placed in cold water over a fire. As the water grew warmer they became sleepy and when it boiled, they died. This is an allegory of what cam

N happen to our profession if we accept status quo.

Bob Blumm

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This is what I recently wrote to our state HOD members:

 

Hello delegates,

 

I am writing to express my support for a title change to "Physician Associate". *This, to some, is an emotional issue, and I would like to cut through some of that and say this: If we want a seat at the table when it comes to health care policy, we must remove psychological barriers to institutional acceptance of our role as a health care provider.

 

By and large, PAs provide clinically excellent care across the board, but every one of us has had to explain (patiently) that there is no doctor to see -- we are the provider. *We aren't the medical assistant, lab assistant, clinical assistant, etc etc…

 

Obviously, this is a multifaceted issue, but somewhere between the rhetoric of "just call me (insert first name), everyone else is on an ego trip" and "If you don't change the name NPs are going to take over the world", there is a happy medium -- I think our profession deserves a title that adequately describes what we do. *I know very few PAs that "assist" physicians (other than to assist them in generating revenue) *I see my SP a few times a week, and that is to say "hello" and perhaps discuss an interesting case. *I see my own patients, I make my own diagnoses and come up with my own treatment plans. *Words have meaning; conscious and unconscious ones -- assistant has a meaning that, to a lay person, suggests "less than". *This isn't encountered by Nurse Practitioners and a patient is not going to ask them if they are ever going to become a "full doctor".

 

We, as a profession, are in a precarious position, as our governing body (State Medical/Osteopathic boards) have a vested interest in protecting the primacy of physicians in the medical hierarchy. *I'm concerned in their zeal to regulate what they can (us) by limiting prescriptive authority, attempting to limit practice ownership, creating more restrictive SP oversight, etc, they inadvertently further and elevate the position of NPs. *A nursing board would not be interested in limiting the scope of NPs -- quite the opposite, actually.

 

So, would changing our title to something more colleaguial help us with our professional standing within our medical community and the public at large? I think the answer is yes, and that is why I am asking you to support the title change efforts that will be presented to the HOD in Toronto. *

 

There will be many that bring out the "old" reasons for keeping the title as it is. *Reasons such as: too expensive, confusing, etc, etc. *To that I say: we've been around for 40+ years, our role has changed, our name must change as well. *

 

Note: I have no idea why those asterisks are there...something about the paste function??

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This was alss posted on C1:

 

Contrary to what opinion many of you may of me, let me set the records straight, I voted in favor of a title change and willing to pay for it. I was a past board member of the Academy and my state chapter, I support both of these organizations, but first and foremost my support and concern is now and always has been for the fellow members and my colleagues in this profession. Although I have repeatedly expressed concerns about the name change committee’s methods my messages were never intended to confuse (or per Anderson obfuscate) but to present a clear opinion of facts that we all should consider the big picture before formulating a final decision on the issue.

 

Anderson, I would like to offer some facts and other interesting data that can be extracted from the survey that all fellow members should be concerned. Eric and paha both questioned why the Academy couldn't just use existing revenue from our membership fees to fund a title change. The Academy could possibly fund this by diverting funds from other programs but I doubt seriously that every state chapter has sufficient funds fully support a legislative effort for a title change, nor could the Academy afford to fund a large number of states projects. In my experience, when a state chapter could not fully fund a legislative effort the Academy granted monies (your fellow membership dues) to aid those states in accomplishing their goals. Examples, funding legislative efforts in New Jersey and Mississippi for multiple years just to get enabling legislation to allow PAs to practice in those states. Ohio, which I was personally involved, the Academy granted $70,000+ between 2000-2006 (again your membership dues) to achieve an expanded scope of practice including prescriptive authority. And I will not even begin to begin to mention all programs funded by either the Academy or a state chapter to promote and grow our profession with monies obtained from fellow members, legislation and programs that benefited all PAs and not just fellow members. And yes, I will admit, it has always concerned me that 100% of the practicing PAs benefited by the minority of fellow members that were willing to pay for it. Fact, on average the Academy and the state chapters report less than 40% of the practicing PAs continually support them.

 

The name change committee claimed this as a victory based on the fact that 45% of the respondents were in favor of a title change. Consider these figures:

Survey data: Page # 7 fellow members in favor of a title change 42%, interested or not sure 21%. Non-members in favor 51%, interested or not sure 20%.

Survey data: Page #14 fellow members not willing to pay for a title change 48%, interested or not sure 17%. Non-members not willing to pay 43%, interested or not sure 19%.

 

Interpret this data however you may, but IMHO, at present title change in large part is driven by nonmembers (I have no problem with this) who are not willing to pay but are craving to benefit from that change in title. Typical of how nonmembers traditionally operate. What will tip the scales either way is a large numbers of both members and nonmembers that are on the fence with this issue. Additionally, this issue is not going to be a simple as just removing the ‘s. This is why I will say it again, congratulations to all of us that are in favor of a title change, the implications of this survey was in some respects a win but it was just a first step in accomplishing that goal. We need to support the resolution from the Texas Academy to get all the facts to be able to sway the unsured vote either way. And then, an overwhelming number of members and nonmembers must be willing to support the Academy and their state chapters with either membership dues or donations. A title change will come in the not too distant future if we let patience dominate compassion and support overcomes apathy.

I think that was quite clear, I don't believe I twisted the data, but you're entitled to develop your own interpretation of the survey. The survey data will be debated in the HOD, and yes it will be slanted at times when the delegates are tried to make their points. But at the end of the day I think the delegates will make the right decision based on all the information they have at this present time. BTW, I thought this survey was fair.

 

PAMAC, thank you for the comment. I want to be a blowhard; I want to blow so hard that I knock down the enormous wall of apathy in this profession. And attempt to give an opposite opinion on all the misinformation about the Academy, state chapters and fellow members who are loyal to those organizations.

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Having been a PA for 30 years, I really have this sense, this deep optimist that we are watching a profound history in the making. I wish so much that I could be in Toronto, but unfortunately there is no way I can due to running a company and having two different children at two different universities graduating the same week. I do support the torch bearers, Glen, Bob, Dave and et al.

 

However, I don't carry the nativity of the French "National Constituent Assembly" prior to the Revolution. It will be, and is, messy and will get messier (but no "Reign of Terror" I should hope). Even if we "name changers" prevail, it will be a hard path and as witnessed, there will be disharmony. If we move forward, there will be push-back, within our profession and I expect some physician and even nursing groups to take offense. There will be cost in time and money.

 

But if we prevail, I suspect that--well past my career frame (an after my retirement)--the profession will be better served and understood. I think, in the end, the AAPA will be the majority benefactor. In the subsequent years they will see their membership grow and correspondingly their coffers. I hope to see the AAPA empowered as our voice, the first to the plate with healthcare legislation rather than a later amendment. I would love to see the membership of this new AAPA grow to 60-75%. I want to see this new AAPA HOD's steer away from the culture war issues and focus only those issues that are relevant to the profession. That is my dream. So godspeed to those who are going to Toronto as the voice of us who favor a name change whose sum gain will surely be the betterment of our profession.

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I want to see this new AAPA HOD's steer away from the culture war issues and focus only those issues that are relevant to the profession. That is my dream..

that has been my dream for the aapa for years...focus on the relevant....

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You have an endearing quality that grows on me, but let's get to the cusp of why this movement needs to draw so much panic and calls for patience to dominate compassion.... Why not blast through with a good showing on this and begin from a position of strength. Make payments on this movement rather than try to buy the whole house in one motion. Who says every state chapter needs to get all of this codified in one year? Do things piecemeal like you do with every other legislative push? What I'm saying is, get the motions to change the name through the aapa, and worry about the details state by state later.

 

PAMAC,

Well, it looks like I started to knock down a small portion of your wall. Okay, let's say we adopt the title change during this HOD, are you and all of the other name change committee supporters going to rally around the Academy and convince the 6 out 10 PAs that that are not members of the Academy to do the same? And when the states start the legislative process, convince those same 6/10 non-supporters to remain committed to their state chapters until the final results are realized?

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PAMAC,

Well, it looks like I started to knock down a small portion of your wall. Okay, let's say we adopt the title change during this HOD, are you and all of the other name change committee supporters going to rally around the Academy and convince the 6 out 10 PAs that that are not members of the Academy to do the same? And when the states start the legislative process, convince those same 6/10 non-supporters to remain committed to their state chapters until the final results are realized?

yes.

I have spoken with multiple folks about this just in the last few days.

I think a lot of folks who support name change are members of state chapters but not the aapa. if they saw something from the aapa on this they would probably make the effort to join/rejoin. for years many have felt the aapa did very little for in the trenches pa's. that has changed in the last few years, mush of it during the tenure of Steve Hanson, for which I am thankful. The aapa is becoming relevant again and by taking a stance on this issue near and dear to many pa's they can bring folks back into the fold who have not been members since they were students. the opposite is also true. they stand to lose members if they ignore the will of the membership.

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yes.

I have spoken with multiple folks about this just in the last few days.

I think a lot of folks who support name change are members of state chapters but not the aapa. if they saw something from the aapa on this they would probably make the effort to join/rejoin. for years many have felt the aapa did very little for in the trenches pa's. that has changed in the last few years, mush of it during the tenure of Steve Hanson, for which I am thankful. The aapa is becoming relevant again and by taking a stance on this issue near and dear to many pa's they can bring folks back into the fold who have not been members since they were students. the opposite is also true. they stand to lose members if they ignore the will of the membership.

 

 

Ditto. . . . .

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yes.

I have spoken with multiple folks about this just in the last few days.

I think a lot of folks who support name change are members of state chapters but not the aapa. if they saw something from the aapa on this they would probably make the effort to join/rejoin. for years many have felt the aapa did very little for in the trenches pa's. that has changed in the last few years, mush of it during the tenure of Steve Hanson, for which I am thankful. The aapa is becoming relevant again and by taking a stance on this issue near and dear to many pa's they can bring folks back into the fold who have not been members since they were students. the opposite is also true. they stand to lose members if they ignore the will of the membership.

 

I have vowed on this forum to join based solely on this issue. I have continued my state membership....

 

Sent from my myTouch_4G_Slide using Tapatalk

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I have vowed on this forum to join based solely on this issue. I have continued my state membership....

 

Sent from my myTouch_4G_Slide using Tapatalk

 

I know several others in the same position, on and off the forum. this is a make or break issue for the aapa.....

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Having been a PA for 30 years, I really have this sense, this deep optimist that we are watching a profound history in the making. I wish so much that I could be in Toronto, but unfortunately there is no way I can due to running a company and having two different children at two different universities graduating the same week. I do support the torch bearers, Glen, Bob, Dave and et al.

 

However, I don't carry the nativity of the French "National Constituent Assembly" prior to the Revolution. It will be, and is, messy and will get messier (but no "Reign of Terror" I should hope). Even if we "name changers" prevail, it will be a hard path and as witnessed, there will be disharmony. If we move forward, there will be push-back, within our profession and I expect some physician and even nursing groups to take offense. There will be cost in time and money.

 

But if we prevail, I suspect that--well past my career frame (an after my retirement)--the profession will be better served and understood. I think, in the end, the AAPA will be the majority benefactor. In the subsequent years they will see their membership grow and correspondingly their coffers. I hope to see the AAPA empowered as our voice, the first to the plate with healthcare legislation rather than a later amendment. I would love to see the membership of this new AAPA grow to 60-75%. I want to see this new AAPA HOD's steer away from the culture war issues and focus only those issues that are relevant to the profession. That is my dream. So godspeed to those who are going to Toronto as the voice of us who favor a name change whose sum gain will surely be the betterment of our profession.

 

jmj,

 

It is good to see a new optimism among folks who feel disenfranchised, and I think it clear in the past week that the AAPA was working all along to address these issues, albeit in its own prodding way.

 

I just want to comment on one thing in your post that struck wrong, and I have seen it repeatedly in this and on other forums. There is this sense that the HOD should only focus on "issues important to the profession." This sort of introspection is is not the message we want to send as "professionals." I accept as face value that PAs will feel more "professional" and accepted by being referred to as "associate." However, the mark of a true professional in our society is found in actions, not words. Things are "culture wars" for political reasons; not scientific or professional ones. It we truly want to be viewed as "professionals", then how we feel, act and express our collective beliefs in the form of policy in the areas of community and public health are critical to how we are viewed by society and the patients we serve. Focusing on things that are only good for PAs is a sure sign that we are not ready for to take our rightful place along side our physician and nursing colleagues. That is one of the major differences between a "trade" and a "profession."

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jmj,

 

It is good to see a new optimism among folks who feel disenfranchised, and I think it clear in the past week that the AAPA was working all along to address these issues, albeit in its own prodding way.

 

I just want to comment on one thing in your post that struck wrong, and I have seen it repeatedly in this and on other forums. There is this sense that the HOD should only focus on "issues important to the profession." This sort of introspection is is not the message we want to send as "professionals." I accept as face value that PAs will feel more "professional" and accepted by being referred to as "associate." However, the mark of a true professional in our society is found in actions, not words. Things are "culture wars" for political reasons; not scientific or professional ones. It we truly want to be viewed as "professionals", then how we feel, act and express our collective beliefs in the form of policy in the areas of community and public health are critical to how we are viewed by society and the patients we serve. Focusing on things that are only good for PAs is a sure sign that we are not ready for to take our rightful place along side our physician and nursing colleagues. That is one of the major differences between a "trade" and a "profession."

 

I've only seen the AAPA mentioned twice in a national news story. First time is when the AAPA filed a lawsuit against the US Gov to overturn the "partial-birth abortion" law and second time was when the HOD at the AAPA conference passed the resolution to ban PAs from prescribing medications to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals. Okay, I know my area of medicine is narrow but I didn't know such medications existed. Really, was there a single delusional PA in the whole country who was trying to prescribe medications for that purpose? How many PAs were involved in intact dilation and extractions? These two issues were certainly political and not effecting the vast problems with our health care system nor PA practice. So it is frustrating when I've been fighting with insurance companies for the past year to get PAs recognized with no help or interest from the AAPA yet they were taking on these issues among which I'm sure PAs are widely divided in their personal opinions. I do honestly believe that these political culture war issues are in the AAPA's past and I expect better from them now. That's what I'm talking about.

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Burnpac, all the advocacy you think burnishes the image of the PA profession would be so much more effective once strides were made in the areas where having the "trade" mentality made gains. AAPA isn't doing anything that isn't being duplicated by others. Te ANA is probably taking on plenty of liberal/progressive causes, and they can afford that luxury by having plodded the "trade" ground to the point where they have a seat at the table to chase waterfalls.

 

Wrong on both points. This isn't about "burnishing" an image; this is about acting like professionals.

 

I have been a PA for over 31 one years. You need to do some history of the profession research in your state and on the national level to chronicle the massive gains PAs have made since 1967 in their practice environment and every measure of being a "trade." This is thanks to individual PAs, state and specialty organizations, and the AAPA working tirelessly on your behalf over decades.

 

What you see as "liberal / progressive" causes, I see as essential public and community health issues. We can't call ourselves professionals if we have no concern for our patients and communities beyond the confines of the exam room, and work only on self-serving and introspective professional matters.

 

We have been successful, among other reasons, because our shared values with the AMA, ANA, AAFP AAP, ACS, ACP, etc. etc., has given us a seat at the table, and a collaborative relationship with peer organizations that has translated into real and substantial professional and legislative gains over the years.

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I've only seen the AAPA mentioned twice in a national news story. First time is when the AAPA filed a lawsuit against the US Gov to overturn the "partial-birth abortion" law and second time was when the HOD at the AAPA conference passed the resolution to ban PAs from prescribing medications to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals. Okay, I know my area of medicine is narrow but I didn't know such medications existed. Really, was there a single delusional PA in the whole country who was trying to prescribe medications for that purpose? How many PAs were involved in intact dilation and extractions? These two issues were certainly political and not effecting the vast problems with our health care system nor PA practice. So it is frustrating when I've been fighting with insurance companies for the past year to get PAs recognized with no help or interest from the AAPA yet they were taking on these issues among which I'm sure PAs are widely divided in their personal opinions. I do honestly believe that these political culture war issues are in the AAPA's past and I expect better from them now. That's what I'm talking about.

 

jmj,

 

I'm really not trying to be sarcastic, but if these are the only two national news stories that you have seen on PAs in your career, you need to broaden your reading sources. There have been literally hundreds of positive stories about PAs in national news sources over recent decades. Add "physician assistant" as a section to your google home page and you will see stories every day from across the country.

 

1. The AAPA didn't sue the federal government. We participated in an amicus brief along with ACOG, AMA, ANA, and a host of other national medical organizations. We (the BOD) supported the amicus brief based on a number of on the books policies regarding access to care and reproductive rights.

2. The AAPA HOD voted to oppose the controversial "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians (folks who claim they can "wash away the gay" with counseling). This is a huge issue in health equity and disparity. Talk to some of your colleagues who care for gays and lesbians on a regular basis for better understanding of how harmful this is to our patients.

 

The good news is that AAPA policy in a variety of public health areas is robust and has been for a number of years. This is the role of the House: Mission, Vision, Philosophy and Policy (per our articles of incorporation and NC corporations code). We will continue to address issues of concern at the House, because the delegates (your peers elected from your local organizations), think these issues are important and take them seriously as health professionals.

 

I hear you on the frustration regarding dealing with third party carriers (we have talked about this before), and I can assure you that Michael Powe and the AAPA are concerned about this and working on it.

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jmj,

 

I'm really not trying to be sarcastic, but if these are the only two national news stories that you have seen on PAs in your career, you need to broaden your reading sources. There have been literally hundreds of positive stories about PAs in national news sources over recent decades. Add "physician assistant" as a section to your google home page and you will see stories every day from across the country.

 

1. The AAPA didn't sue the federal government. We participated in an amicus brief along with ACOG, AMA, ANA, and a host of other national medical organizations. We (the BOD) supported the amicus brief based on a number of on the books policies regarding access to care and reproductive rights.

2. The AAPA HOD voted to oppose the controversial "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians (folks who claim they can "wash away the gay" with counseling). This is a huge issue in health equity and disparity. Talk to some of your colleagues who care for gays and lesbians on a regular basis for better understanding of how harmful this is to our patients.

 

The good news is that AAPA policy in a variety of public health areas is robust and has been for a number of years. This is the role of the House: Mission, Vision, Philosophy and Policy (per our articles of incorporation and NC corporations code). We will continue to address issues of concern at the House, because the delegates (your peers elected from your local organizations), think these issues are important and take them seriously as health professionals.

 

I hear you on the frustration regarding dealing with third party carriers (we have talked about this before), and I can assure you that Michael Powe and the AAPA are concerned about this and working on it.

 

Several responses.

 

First of all, my first statement was taken out of context. Over the years I've heard many, mostly positive, stories about PAs. My point was the only national story (CBS, NBC, ABC news) that mentioned the AAPA that I can remember are the two mentioned. I clearly remember the story about the HOD decision about "prescribing medications to change the sexual orientation" being in the news. It has been a number of years. However, I looked up the HOD report and you are right. The statement was about reparative therapy and not medications. I have nothing against the position opposing reparative therapy while the notion of medications to do the same seemed a bit silly. I suspect that the news did a sensational twist on the story and it was their misunderstanding. So I apologize for not checking the story out in more detail. But I still wonder with so many other hot issues, is this what the HOD should be focusing on?

 

Regarding the insurance issue. This is where again I was so poised to rejoin, only to be disappointed by the AAPA. I keep expecting that they are getting better. I approached the AAPA a year ago about a major insurer who refused to do business with me because I, a PA, owned the clinic. I sought the advice of Physasst here on the forum who put me in touch with the person at AAPA, (which I think was Michael but those e-mails are long gone). He had asked for a careful explanation, which I put together. Then he never, ever responded despite my many attempts to reach him. It was a complete brush off and I thought such matters were far more important to PAs than some of the other ones. I also approached the director of the local PA program, who, just a couple of years ago was on the board of directors of this insurance company. I e-mailed and called and made many attempts to talk to her, and go zero response. I realize the later was not a AAPA issue while she has served on several AAPA work groups.

 

I've got too much to do to get in another one of these discussions and I'm sorry I did. Actually today, we are starting a new round of fights with this insurance company today and I have a full slate of patients.

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the problem with your (burnpac) agenda items is that they arent always shared by all the members, in fact they can be turnoffs. if the aapa would stick to business, instead of being a tool to advance the politics of the folks behind measures that are extreme, then maybe they would see more in the way of advancement. when these conversations come up, its folks like you that insist that there arent enough resources, yet there are for pet items. maybe instead of taking on polarized items and being your own vehicle for social causes, the aapa should simply be satisfied with NOT supporting specific controversial therapies, and not advocating against partial birth abortions, just like they traditionally have NOT issued statements in support of bridge programs, and NOT supported a name change. when you and jdtpac talk about doing the bidding of the membership, then i guesse all i have to say is that whether its the membership clammoring for failure, or the leadership, it seems that maybe its failure that will wake them up to turning away from being a sinking, but noble (in your own minds) organization.

 

I don't have any role in setting the agenda of the AAPA except as a delegate to the HOD from California. I'm one vote among the 249 delegates elected from states and specialty organizations. They are your peers, elected by AAPA members in your jurisdiction. If you have a problem with the way in which they vote, or the issues they think important, take it up with them as CA PAs take it up with me. Policy is made by people who show up. Who shows up from your state or specialty organization is up to you.

 

The public and community health policies of the Academy nearly always cost nothing in real dollars. They don't negatively affect opportunity costs. They are positions that allow us to be a voice for the profession and our patients, and allow us to collaborate and work with our physician and nursing colleagues, and health agencies / policy groups, on legislative issues. This has been a boon to the PA profession, and has made us a player in state capitals and in Congress with influence far greater our actual size. This has helped us in innumerable situations, and I can't think of one situation where it has hurt us on the state and national level.

 

Actually, I believe that a statement was issued from the Doctoral summit regarding bridge programs. The AAPA doesn't support the name change at this time because that is the official policy of the AAPA, decided by the delegates. It is up for debate again in three resolutions submitted to Toronto. That could change it the delegates decide that it is time.

 

As for other issues, not having formal policy on various issues is a policy.

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why is it that you cant be content to be part of an organization that has any semblance of neutrality, but folks like you have to seek to polarize every place where you land?

 

I actually "landed" in the AAPA and the California Academy of PAs in 1982.

 

My attitudes about public and community health have developed in more than 35 years of direct patient care starting as an EMT / paramedic, and in public health, OB/GYN, occ med, urgent care, emergency medicine and plastic and reconstructive surgery as a PA.

 

I have always advocated for my patients and those who can't advocate for themselves, because I am a PA, and that's the way I was trained and acculturated by my instructors and mentors.

 

I will take it as a compliment that you believe I have made a difference as a member and leader in all the organizations with which I have been associated. :-)

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take it any way you want to, i guess. i would make the arguement that on partial birth abortion, and issues of the like, you have no shortage of folks across the political spectrum that are willing to get in line to advocate for those who "cant advocate for themselves". maybe it sounds good for you and those of like mind try to use while you speak with the voice of the aapa to support your political causes. im not buying much of it myself.

 

As is your right and freedom. Let's be clear about something. I'm not the "voice of the AAPA." Aside from being a delegate, I have no current leadership role in any PA organization (and don't plan to ever again.... ). I'm proud to be a trench level PA grinding it out day-to-day like everyone else on this forum. The statements I make in public here, or anywhere else, are my own opinions, thoughts and beliefs, and should not be construed to be anything more than that.

 

Your mileage may vary.

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...second time was when the HOD at the AAPA conference passed the resolution to ban PAs from prescribing medications to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals. Okay, I know my area of medicine is narrow but I didn't know such medications existed.

 

They don't. See the 2008 Swedish study on the brains of homosexual and heterosexual counterparts. There's no medication to change brain anatomy, that I know of.

 

As for dealing with the name, I don't even care anymore. I don't need anyone to do it for me, but if they do then great. I introduce myself to my Spanish speaking patients with 'Mucho Gusto, yo estoy Associado de Medico de Doctor *blank*'. I mean, truly, we are medical associates, so thus my approach.

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