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PA leadership of PA societies

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While talking with a friend and PA faculty member a week or two ago, I was reminded that the PA profession is not PA-led.  While AAPA may be, several of our other key organizations are in other-than-PA hands:

I understand the historical reasoning behind this: the PA profession was started with the advice and consent of several organizations, several of which maintain voting seats on two of our most key professional bodies. At one point, there were no PAs who could serve to govern the PA profession, and certainly no PAs who could serve as delegates from the American Physician Association, AMA, or AOA to the NCCPA.  At the same time, I want to call out the FSMB for nominating Peggy Riley Robinson, PA-C, as their NCCPA representative. 

By now, there are enough PAs who have gone on to medical school that the AMA, AOA, or other physician organizations could nominate former PAs now practicing as physicians to the seats reserved for them. It's time for all organizations historically given a seat at the PA leadership table to follow the FSMB's lead:

  • ONLY PA-Cs, retired PA-Cs, or former PA-Cs now practicing as physicians should have voting status on any PA organization of national or profession-wide significance. (with the exception of 1-2 student directors who may be current PA students)
  • Non-eligible representatives from organizations may still be sent as observers, with floor privileges, but those observers would not have a vote in the respective organization's leadership.

We, as PAs, have little direct power to effect these changes. NCCPA and ARC-PA appear to have the constituent organization seats built into their organizational charters.

So, my fellow PAs interested in the future of our profession:

- Is mandating PAs govern the PA profession a good idea?
- If so, how should we go about accomplishing this?

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1 hour ago, LT_Oneal_PAC said:

Agreed, though I don’t think we should allow former PA-Cs who are now physicians. Too much conflict of interest for those people to be serving in our organization.

I am not proposing to have ARC-PA or NCCPA strip out their physician-organization delegated seats.  Since they are self-perpetuating boards, that would be particularly difficult to do.  BUT, designating those seats for PAs, including PAs-turned-physician, would be a step in the right direction, and a reasonable, manageable, incremental step toward asserting PA control over PA destiny at the national level.

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(And before anyone asks, no, this topic didn't get censored off of Huddle.  I never brought it up there: since Huddle is an AAPA-owned forum, it would place the AAPA in a difficult position with respect to their peer organizations.  Plus, NCCPA and ARC-PA have impacts on all PAs, not just those currently members of AAPA.  I know of no other national, all-PA forum in which this could be appropriately brought up and discussed by all)

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