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  Leslie Milteer MPAS, PA-C

  President MAPA

 

“It is through cooperation, rather than conflict that our greatest successes will be achieved”     

-Unknown Author

 

 

All PAs have goals, personal and professional.  Most of our goals will require working with others to transform them from a goal to an accomplishment.  Our profession is in a major phase of growth and change, which is shaping our goals as an academy. MAPA is experiencing changes in numerous areas of our organization that are exciting, challenging and complicated.  Many of these changes affect short-term and long-term goals and require careful navigation.    

 

As president, I have been involved in numerous interactions about the PA profession and what our goals are, or should be, for MAPA and the PA profession as a whole.  My interactions have included conversation with other PAs, physicians, administrators, legislators, state medical organization leaders, and national leaders.  I have been involved in all forms of communication including face-to-face, large and small formal meetings, email, phone calls and the most controversial, social media.  In all these conversations finding the best solutions to providing great patient care is the ideal goal.  How we can best reach that goal is the point of much debate.

 

The opinions about what PAs should be striving for to move our profession forward are strong and varied.  The issues of wanting to change our professional title, responding to NPs changing to independent practice and how we should approach the obstacles that restrict us from practicing to our fullest capacity are a few of the ever present topics.  Despite the variety of opinions and topics, our goal is always the same- PAs want to provide the best patient care possible.

 

In light of our similar end goal, it is shocking the tone of many conversations involving or regarding PAs. The tone has ranged from an open honest respectful exchange of information, to angry, divisive, and at times boldly disrespectful discourse.   It is the PA to PA arguments that are the most troubling and potentially destructive.  If we as professional colleagues cannot respectfully communicate, and when needed disagree with each other constructively, how can we expect outside parties to respect what we are saying about our profession?  As a smaller sized profession compared to other medical groups, we cannot afford the rising divisiveness if we hope to move forward.  We can professionally disagree with each other and work to find solutions without trying to break each other down to prove a point or win in the arena of public opinion.  No one has an end goal to destroy our profession or even maintain the status quo, as has been suggested in many heated debates among PAs.  Despite our varied ideas on what might be the best approaches to accomplish our goal of moving the PA profession forward, we should be able to continue our dialog in a respectful manner.   

 

In order for the PA profession in Minnesota and nationally to move forward, it will require cooperation and understanding amongst us all to create a unified and bold presence.  There continues to be a great need to educate those parties such as legislators and administrators, which still do not fully appreciate how we are trained and what we are capable of, that must be presented in a consistent and accurate way to avoid further misunderstandings and confusion.  We need focused and careful discussion with those individuals and groups that object to our expanding role in patient care.  Above all we need to demonstrate professional integrity and our effectiveness as major participants and leaders on healthcare teams, in leadership positions and in healthcare reform.    

 

All PAs want the best for the profession we value and feel so passionately about.  We need strong positive relationships with each other and outside organizations to create momentum.  Our goals are the same. Even if we disagree on approach or process, cooperation with and respect for each other’s perspectives provides us the best opportunity for success. 

 

“It is through cooperation, rather than conflict that our greatest successes will be achieved”

 

Leslie Milteer MPAS, PA-C, President of MAPA

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