This is my second year celebrating PA week at my current practice and I will say that the department really stepped it up this year. Little did I know when I reminded our clinic admins, medical director, and SP that PA Week was coming up, they heard me and really celebrated us!
For those of you that feel discouraged that your clinic or practice administration did nothing to recognize you, start by having the discussion! Print out posters and resources from AAPA about celebrating PA Week. Sometimes, it takes an individual to make a big deal about it for people to catch on (I promise your clinic/hospital staff appreciates you!).
One of my favorite parts of working as a PA is the team collaboration with my physicians. Working on exams, scopes, consents, and treatment plans, my supervising physician is able to trust my judgment and my ability to provide excellent first-line patient care. As a PA on the medical team, I am not just an advocate or scribe, but help work toward solutions for our patients’ medical issues. Teamwork is a two-way street and I am proud to be a caregiver that works alongside our physicians. As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work!”
As we close on PA Week 2019, I want to share a few words from one of my supervising physicians on his take on the PA/Physician Collaboration!
“Many MDs have very strong opinions about APPs, I think I’ve heard them all—“Don’t train your competition.” “Our practice couldn’t survive without them.” “Why are we letting people bypass medical school to become ‘doctors?” Despite drowning in notes and paperwork I’m able to get home each day because of my PA.
Whatever your feelings are on the subject, it’s important to remember that your opinions are likely formed by your experiences working with APPs, and unfortunately your experiences working with APPs are shaped largely from what kind of people they are AND how well they were trained to do their job.
Unfortunately, you can’t fix crummy people. People who are in this to make money and get out at 4:30 are going to do exactly that. So, if you’re given the opportunity to train APPs, make sure you remember two key things:
- While no, you cannot treat a APP like a resident (although I’m not sure what this says about how we treat residents), you CAN and SHOULD expect the same level of quality and responsibility from them. When they feel as culpable for patients as you do, they will act as dutifully as you ought to. Don’t focus on “know your role,” focus on “know your responsibility.”
- While no, APPs are not physicians and should never be misconstrued as such, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the same care in training them. Sure…we all know an example of an APP was trained to work perfectly with their SP and then they peace out to go get some higher paying job with better hours/QOL. But can you blame them!? If you didn’t have anachronistic and illegal non-compete clauses and the opportunity cost of shifting practice, you would too.
Not everyone can be the starting quarterback, but everyone gets to use the same strength and training facilities.
You get exactly out of an APP what you put into them and expect out of them. Make sure both what goes in and comes out is excellence. If more thought had been put into this a long time ago there would be more instances where we truly were on the same team.
Happy PA week!”
There you have it!
Happy PA Week my fellow PA colleagues!