SAN FRANCISCO — Physician assistants are the single greatest value in health care today, Jenna Dorn, CEO of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, told the crowd attending the inaugural session of the association’s 2015 meeting.
The physician assistant (PA) community saw many successes already in 2015 — 39 states and the District of Columbia introduced PA-friendly legislation, Forbes named physician assistants the most promising job of the year, and mainstream media touted the quality of PA care in more than 700 million impressions.
“When we met last year, I couldn’t have imagined the year ahead for this profession,” said AAPA president John McGinnity, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA. “More and more patients are asking to see PAs because they realize the value we can bring to improving their health outcomes.”
Since last year’s meeting in Boston, the AAPA has ramped up its public awareness efforts, said McGinnity. In 2014, the AAPA commissioned a Harris poll to measure patients’ attitudes towards PA care. Results of the poll indicated that 90% of patients who had seen a PA trusted their education and clinical experience. “The poll confirms what you and I already know: America loves PAs,” said McGinnity.
In order to continue evolving the PA profession, AAPA leadership launched of the Center for Healthcare and Leadership Management, which provides employers with advisory services for optimizing PA practice. “Our goals is not only to educate employers about what PAs can do, but to offer leadership and management treating to current and aspiring PA administrators,” explained McGinnity.
He challenged PAs to not only continue to evolve their trademark quality, patient-centered care, but to also take on leadership roles within their own practice.
“See yourselves for the leaders that you are. PAs are the future of health care and we are going to make a difference.”