The priority for my tenure as President of Idaho Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA) will be to negotiate the impact of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Optimal Team Practice resolution on the practice environment for PAs in the state of Idaho. The AAPA recently passed a resolution updating the “Guidelines for State Regulation of PAs” with a series of changes the AAPA describes as “Optimal Team Practice”. Key changes in the AAPA guidelines propose the elimination of legal requirements for PAs to have a specific relationship with a physician in order to practice, and advocate for the creation of autonomous state boards with a majority of PAs as voting members to license, regulate and discipline PAs, or for PAs to be full voting members of medical boards.
The Idaho Academy of Physician Assistants seeks comment from our membership on this critical issue as we can only effectively represent the interests of PAs in Idaho if we hear from our members. In August, a survey was sent to IAPA members regarding this very important topic, and we additionally encourage you to reach out to myself and the IAPA Board of Directors at any time with your questions, concerns, and opinions. If you are a PA in the state of Idaho and are not currently an IAPA member, I strongly recommend joining the IAPA today. The IAPA is your representation at the state and national level, working to help establish effective and non-restrictive practice laws while maximizing patient safety and access to care. We are at a crucial moment in the PA profession and will need the strength of all PAs in the state to meet the challenge.
The IAPA and Idaho’s physician organization, the Idaho Medical Association (IMA), have a long-standing, highly collegial, and collaborative relationship. At the 2017 IMA Annual Meeting, the IAPA and IMA resolved to form a workgroup seeking to improve the regulatory environment for PA practice in the state of Idaho, to the benefit of both professions. The IAPA currently shares a physical office and has received considerable in-kind support from the IMA over the years in creating a fair and reasonable regulatory environment for PA practice. I consider the relationship highly valuable, and would like to continue to collaborate with the IMA to address the remaining regulatory issues our membership feels are unnecessarily burdensome.
Please make your voice heard in the coming year so the IAPA can best represent and advocate for your needs as the collective voice of PAs in Idaho.
J. Nathan Thompson, PA-C, FHM, FAAPA
President, Idaho Academy of Physician Assistants
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