Physician Assistants Considering Lobby For Independence
Michael C. Doll, MPAS, PA-C and incoming President of the American Academy of Physician Assistants recently wrote an article found HERE
. In which he made some interesting points about Physician Assistants (PAs).
Mr Doll states in the article that
Physicians are seen as independent providers, and PAs are seen as dependent providers. In cardiac surgery (my specialty) I cannot do open heart surgery by myself; I need my surgeon.
He further goes on to explain that a very experienced family practice PA made the statement which turned around his thinking. He said
“Your surgeon cannot operate without you. He’s dependent upon you.”
He goes on to express how he feels that really no one is a 'dependent' provider since everyone is truly interdependent.
He makes an excellent point when he talks about performing procedures.
..if a PA has a complication from that chest tube insertion, she carries the same degree of legal responsibility as the surgeon and can get sued independent of the surgeon
. As a well-seasoned PA, I cannot remember the last time a surgeon “supervised” or was physically present at the bedside of one of my procedures. When I work in the CT ICU overnight, my surgeon (who is asleep at home) is not “supervising” my work.
Mr Doll makes an excellent point when he talks about the reality of modern day practice and makes it clear that true teams are "dependent on each other" and it is much more realistic to consider this a collaboration in the same way all practitioners collaborate with each others regardless of initials.
Mr Doll also makes another great point when he says
What I am advocating for is a leveling of the practice field, from a regulatory standpoint for the PA profession.
. I think all APRNs (including CRNAs) feel the exact same way.
He further states that
When performing any clinical task, PAs are expected to have the exact same clinical proficiency and outcome as physicians.
This is true of all APRNs, PAs, CRNAs but the physician lobby does not want to recognize it even in the face of volumes of case law backing it.
He makes a final comment that clarifies all the legislative hurdles the Physician Lobby tries to impose in order to maintain control and limit competition with other providers and access to care for patients. It brings home the point all of us are always making.
..until restrictions are eliminated, PAs will not be permitted to give their patients timely, efficient and effective care.
This underscores the fact that for the physician lobby it is about incomes and not outcomes or access
regardless of the evidence against their position and lack of evidence for it. Physicians create significant research for medical science for the benefit of patients and yet when it comes to APRNs, CRNAs and PAs their lobby ignores all the evidence in favor of restriction which keeps revenue generated by these professionals always tied to (and streaming to) their members.