Dear Massachusetts PAs:
What an exciting time to be part of MAPA! MAPA, in conjunction with CMR, presented the annual pharmacology CME on March 24th at the Lahey Clinic. Over 200 PAs attended and feedback on the speakers and topics has been overwhelmingly positive. Our President-elect, Sean Robinson, hosted the annual membership meeting. The Board of Directors of MAPA recognizes the importance of reaching out to its members and listening to your comments and concerns. We will do our utmost to implement the changes and suggestions given to us.
We invite you to become more involved with MAPA. Our primary focus over the last few years has been to represent PAs in Massachusetts on legislative and regulatory matters in addition to providing continuing medical education (CME) events. Going forward, we would like to set up
town hall meetings and regional events to provide members with an intimate opportunity to discuss practice issues.
Elections to the MAPA Board of Directors will be held in June. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague to a position. Please submit nominations by April 30th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following positions will have open seats for this election:
- Director at large (3 positions)
- House of Delegates (representing MAPA at the AAPA conference)
Mark your calendars for the next MAPA CME event: September 6-9th at the Omni Parker House in Boston.
As my term as President comes to close I want to thank you for allowing me to represent you. I would also like to thank the Board of Directors: Heather, Sean, Maha, Pam, Sheri, David, Meredith, and Chris for their tireless efforts on behalf of PAs in Massachusetts.
Julie Purcell, PA-C
America’s First National Prevention Strategy: A Discussion with the US Surgeon General & Community Innovators
Michelle Webb, PA-S
On March 21, 2012, the US Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, led an education and discussion session on the new federally sponsored National Prevention Strategy (NPS) at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benjamin and a group of panelists representing local experts in the
fields of public health and health economics discussed the goals of the NPS, the strategies in how to achieve these goals, and answered questions from the audience. Dr. Michael Milner, the incoming Dean of the School of PA Studies at MCPHS Boston, helped to organize this event. He was accompanied by several PA students and faculty from MCPHS Boston including MAPA President Elect, Sean Robinson. You can find out more about the NPS at the US Department of Health and Human Services public website HealthCare.gov
Student Leadership Summit
PA students met for a leadership summit at the recent MAPA CME event at Lahey Clinic on March 24, 2012. These astute and insightful students participated in a brainstorming session that detailed ways to encourage student input and participation within MAPA, with the ultimate goal
of shaping the future leaders of the PA profession within the Commonwealth. The students have great insight into their needs and issues as well as those of the profession and MAPA. Talking points and planning strategies include the following:
- PA Week 2012 – organize an event that includes all PA programs in the Commonwealth to be mediated by MAPA but run by students
- Student participation in the MAPA Fall CME – including student moderators, registration operators, and audio-visual support
- Student presentation of student related issues at monthly MAPA Board of Directors meetings
- Creation of a student section on the MAPA website with information about events, volunteer and outreach opportunities, as well as a student forum.
MAPA members are encouraged to participate in fostering student development through mentorship, shadowing opportunities, precepting, and participation in future leadership summits. If you would like to participate in the creation of our future PA leaders, please contact MAPA
today at email@example.com.
MAPA Student State House Visit
On March 22, 2012 well over 100 PA students from across the Commonwealth, emblazoned in their white coats, descended upon Beacon Hill to lobby on behalf of all Massachusetts Physician Assistants. Students from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Boston
and Worcester campuses) and Northeastern University met with legislators from both the House and the Senate advocating for the profession. This event, referred to as the State House Visit, is slated to become an annual tradition for PA students acting as their introduction to the legislative process in Massachusetts and how this affects health care practice for PAs. The event was coordinated through a joint effort on behalf of faculty and administrators from the participating colleges, MAPA members, and the MAPA lobbyist, the Charles Group. The latter was responsible for the bulk of the planning and advising, ensuring that the students gained the most from this experience.
Editorial: What’s in a Name?
David Probert, PA-C
MAPA Board of Directors, Director at Large
Yet again the issue of the name of the Physician Assistant profession rears its head. It seems that every few years this comes up, usually with the same arguments. Somehow it is demeaning to be called an assistant. Let me tell you where I am coming from. I graduated from Pharmacy school 35 years ago and found the lack of patient interaction unsatisfying. I tried all sorts of different areas of the profession. None allowed me the patient interaction that I wanted. I looked at medical schools – doctors I worked with said I’d be crazy to go to medical school. I applied and was ultimately accepted to Northeastern University’s PA program. I have been and remain a Physician Assistant for the past 26 years. I assist the physician I work with in providing access to care. I see patients and am universally accepted by them as their caregiver. I have worked in neurosurgery, emergency medicine, urgent care and cardiology as well as 26 years in the reserves where I served in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Central and South America. I find the term Physician Assistant descriptive; it does not, however cover everything I do. There is no term that can do that.
Now to the logistics. Say, for example, we do advocate for a change of name. We practice and have enabling statutes in every state and are spreading across the world. We would need to amend all those statutes for the new name. In the past few years we have developed name recognition and brand recognition – this would all be lost. A few years ago this issue came before the House of Delegates of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The liaison from the American College of Surgeons – you remember them, they are one of the earliest supporters of the Physician Assistant profession – came to the floor of the house and said that if we persisted in pursuing a
name change they would no longer support us. Our oldest allies were very negative about the
If you find it demeaning to be called an assistant then I submit that you need to look at your own sense of self worth. Physician Assistant is what you do, not what you are. For more than 40 years we have pushed the Physician Assistant profession to be included as part of the solution for health care. Patients, doctors, nurses and finally legislators are accepting of us. To point out to those who are starting to recognize us that we are demeaned by what we are called is self defeating.
I look forward to any suggestions you might have to help us improve MAPA for you. Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns you might have.
Jay Chamberlain PA-C
Executive Director, MAPA
Chamberlain Medical Resources