Physician Assistants to Explore Changing Title
By David Doolittle

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Physician assistants one day might go by a different name under a resolution the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) passed during its annual conference in May.

The AAPA House of Delegates voted to investigate changing the PA title and studying potential alternatives.

“PAs did not vote to change our professional title; we are simply going to explore alternatives that may better communicate our role to patients in today’s health care environment, as well as the practical implications of implementing a potential change,” L. Gail Curtis, president and chair of AAPA’s board of directors, said in a statement.

Specifically, the resolution requests the AAPA’s board to hire independent consulting and research firms to investigate state, federal, financial, political, and branding aspects of a potential title change.

The investigation is expected to take at least a year, the AAPA said in a news release.

According to Texas Medical Association policy, a physician assistant is a “skilled person, qualified by academic training in an accredited program and by practical training to provide patient services under the supervision and direction of a licensed physician who is ultimately responsible for the performance of that assistant.”

The policy also states that payment for services performed by a PA should be made directly to the responsible physician and responsibility for care must clearly be defined.


Last Updated On

June 04, 2018

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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