From Physician Assistant to PA

“The word ‘assistant’ simply does not do justice to what PAs do in their practices these days,” says AAPA President Jeffrey Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA.

from AAPA

Discussions about the title of the PA profession are almost as old as the profession itself. In recent times, the issue has been debated at the House of Delegates (HOD) at least three times since 1998, including at the 2012 HOD, when a proposal to create a taskforce to consider the issue was ultimately voted down, and again in 2015. Numerous editorials have laid out arguments on all sides. But one thing that almost all PAs have always been able to agree on is that they are, well, “PAs.” And over the nearly 50-year course of the profession, the term PA has become widely recognized in the healthcare community and by patients.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Physician Assistant–Friendly Legislation Boosts Pay

PAs practicing in states with a practice barrier reported lower salaries than their peers in states without that barrier.

from Health Leaders Media

States with more progressive laws governing the practice of physician assistants (PAs) also offer the Masters-prepared clinicians the highest earning potential, according to the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) 2017 AAPA Salary Report.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Celebrating 50 Years of PAs This PA Week

PAs have been moving healthcare forward since 1967, and that’s definitely something worth celebrating.

Each year, from October 6th through the 12th, Physician Assistants are recognized for their critical contributions to our nation’s healthcare, during what the American Academy of Physician Assistants has dubbed National PA Week. And this year’s PA Week is extra special, as it’s the 50th anniversary of the profession.

Since 1967, PAs have fought to move healthcare forward by increasing access and improving health outcomes for scores of Americans. 50 years later, they are the face of the future of healthcare. Seeing 70+ patients per week, on average, and filling gaps in care in rural areas—and, mind you, that’s all while fighting for full practice authority and constantly reminding people they’re Physician Assistants, not Physician’s Assistants—the need for PAs is glaringly obvious, and it just keeps growing—an expected growth of 30% from 2014 to 2024.

Trusted, essential, and ready for anything—we salute you, PAs, and hope you have a fabulous week celebrating all you have accomplished. It is truly something of which to be proud.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Dave’s Blog: It’s Time For PA Practice In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the last place that is part of the USA that does not allow PA practice. Why?

by Dave Mittman, PA, DFAAPA

I live in Florida but my soul is that of a New Yorker. It has been said that all New Yorkers are eventually a blend of each other. I believe that. That being said, NY is home to the largest population of people of Puerto Rican ancestry outside of the Commonwealth itself. When Hurricane Maria struck, I personally felt it. I know the people there. Obviously, my thoughts turned to healthcare and just who was going to provide it? Even the question of whether PAs could go down there to help? Let me explain…

If you don’t know, Puerto Rico has been experiencing a “brain drain” as physicians and nurses from there leave to make considerably more money on the mainland. Their economy has been hurting and the healthcare system had manpower shortages before the Hurricane. I can’t imagine that it will get better after. Imagine getting your degree, finishing residency and being able to make tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year more for doing the same thing. It would be a challenge for any of us to stay. After Maria that challenge becomes something that can not be ignored.

Puerto Rico is the last place that is part of the USA that does not allow PA practice. Why? Most agree it is because of the pressure imposed by organized medicine. There are NPs there as they have legislation which is fairly new but they have problems also.

In a report issued January 2017 from the Health Policy Resource Center titled “Puerto Rico Healthcare Infrastructure Assessment”, this was said about PAs and NPs; “The health care provider shortage is exacerbated by a lack of midlevel providers like physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). PAs are not licensed to practice in Puerto Rico, and according to many respondents, physician groups have exerted ongoing pressure to maintain this arrangement. Some said that general practitioners worry about competition from PAs and the pressure this might create to further reduce reimbursement rates. By comparison, NPs face marginally better acceptance from the Puerto Rican medical community than PAs. Recently, Puerto Rico passed a law allowing NPs to practice, and several NP training institutions exist in the commonwealth. However, most graduates of these programs are either foreign students or Puerto Ricans intending to leave to practice elsewhere. Like physicians, bilingual nurses and NPs are in high demand on the US mainland and can earn significantly higher salaries there than in Puerto Rico”.

It’s time for PA legislation in Puerto Rico. It’s time to allow those that want to take some time and go down there to practice their profession the ability to do so. I know many of my PA friends over the years have wanted to, only to be told they were not wanted or needed. More than that let’s not settle for legislation that will tie our hands and not allow us to practice to the full extent of our education and clinical abilities. Let’s draft legislation for PA practice with OTP or as close to it as possible. We don’t need to hamper ourselves and this is a place that both needs and deserves PAs doing what we do best; providing medical care. Let’s look at what the NPs are trying to do and possibly work together and I hope all of us can team with the physicians there to provide the Island’s citizens with the healthcare they so desperately need.

It’s time for PA practice in Puerto Rico.


Dave Mittman has been a PA and later NP leader for thirty years. He co-founded the LIU PA Program student society, was President of the New York State Society of PAs from 1978-1979 and served on the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Board of Directors from 1981-1983. Dave was also the first USAF Reserves PA permitted to practice. Dave spent 9 years in primary care in Brooklyn, N.Y. and left to begin a career in medical publishing with Physician Assistant Journal. Dave has also won the AAPA Public Education award for leading the march in Trenton NJ to establish PA practice. Dave left PA Journal to co-found Clinicians Publishing Group (1990) and Clinician Reviews Journal in 1991. Dave has authored papers in publications as diverse as “Chicken Soup for the Expectant Mothers Soul”, “U.S. Pharmacist”, “The British Medical Journal” and others. Dave¹s paper in the BMJ was the first internationally written paper written on PA practice. Dave and a few very close PA colleagues co-founded the PAs For Tomorrow”” in 2012 which is a new national professional organization representing and advocating for PAs in an different way. Dave as spoken at hundreds of NP and PA meetings and always has some interesting thoughts on the future of both professions. Most recently Dave has been busy launching another dream; Clinician 1, the first internet community for PAs and NPs. Dave is married to his sweetheart Bonnie for 32 years and has two wonderful children.

Wage Gap Between Female and Male PAs Persists

Despite 70% of PAs being female, they earn significantly less than their male counterparts, a new study has found.

A new study conducted by the AAPA and published this month in Women’s Health Issues has found that there is a glaring disparity between the salaries of male and female PAs. For every dollar a male PA earns, his female counterpart earns only 89 cents—though nearly 70% of all PAs are female.

“As a PA educator, I feel keenly the burden of student debt. One way to think about the impact of the gender pay gap is in the context of the $150,000 in student loans facing a typical PA upon graduation. A male PA earning $10,000 a year more than his female PA counterpart could use that extra money to pay off his student loan debt in 15 years. The disparate treatment of women in the PA profession is simply unacceptable,” L Gail Curtis, President and Chair of the AAPA Board of Directors, is quoted as saying.

While this 11% gap may be shocking to some, compensation disparities between males and females have persisted for decades, and despite years of progress in the fight against the gender wage gap, women continue to make less than their male counterparts for doing the same work in nearly all professions. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, women’s earnings were only 82% of men’s.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Certified PAs Enhance Hospice and Palliative Care

With the number of Certified PAs growing 44% in just six short years, this workforce can help meet the demand for medical providers in the area of palliative care.

from Psychiatric Times

Making end-of-life decisions is difficult, but something many will face. I am privileged to provide compassionate care to those confronting these decisions as they enter the unfamiliar territory of facing mortality. As the chief physician assistant (PA) in hospice and palliative medicine at Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., I’m committed to treating those diagnosed with chronic progressive illnesses that have advanced and become more burdensome, without curative options. Most of my patients are male, typically aged 65 or older, and are part of a growing demographic that will rely on our expertise in the future.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Expanding the Role of PAs in the Treatment of Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

Patients with severe and persistent mental illness often face limited access to psychiatric and primary care—PAs could change that.

from JAAPA

Among mental health teams that care for patients with severe and persistent mental illness, a growing concern is patients’ limited access to psychiatric support. One contributing factor is a shortage of psychiatrists, especially in community-based and outpatient settings. Physician assistants historically have been used in settings with physician shortages.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Life as a Traveling PA

Curious about locum tenens work as a PA? Here’s a handy list of things you might want to know.

from All Things Physician Assistant

Danielle Kepics, the PA-C at the helm of All Thing Physician Assistant, has received a multitude of questions about being a traveling or “locums” PA. As a result, she has compiled an extensive FAQ to address these questions and share her experiences with others who are curious about or interested in becoming a traveling PA. Are you interested in locums PA roles?

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

New AMA Policy Opposes Autonomous State PA Boards

At the annual meeting of the AMA, held June 9-14, 2017, delegates passed a resolution opposing autonomous state PA boards.

from AAPA

At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) held June 9-14, delegates passed a resolution opposing autonomous state PA boards. This resolution was introduced following AAPA’s House of Delegates approval of Optimal Team Practice (OTP) last month.

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.