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Sign-on statement in response to Actions by the AAPA June 15, 2021


The undersigned organizations representing nearly 350,000 physicians oppose the American Academy of Physician Assistants (PAs) House of Delegates vote to change their title to “Physician Associate”. We strongly support the physician-led team-based model of care and recognize the vital role all providers play in the health care delivery system; however, ambiguous provider nomenclature, misleading advertisements, and the myriad of individuals one encounters at each point of service exacerbates patient uncertainty. Changing one’s title to “Physician Associate” without completing an accredited medical school education and training will further mislead the public.

A recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association’s Scope of Practice Partnership confirms increasing patient confusion and reinforces that patients want more transparency regarding the credentials and qualifications of their health care providers:

  • 88 percent of patients believe only medical doctors should be permitted to use the title “physician”;

  • 79 percent of patients support state legislation to require all health care advertising materials to clearly designate the level of education, skills and training of all health care professionals promoting their services.

We will continue to advocate for truth-in-advertising laws and oppose legislation that jeopardizes patient safety by eliminating the physician-team based model of care.

American Academy of Dermatology Association

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American College of Radiology

American College of Surgeons

American Psychiatric Association

American Society of Anesthesiologists

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Urological Association