What is going on with the PA role

From lawsuits to an ongoing push for title changes, here are five major updates on the role of physician assistants from the last two years: 

1. Gov. Tina Kotek signed legislation making Oregon the first state in the country to officially change the title of "physician assistant" to "physician associate." 

2. Physician assistant base pay jumped 5.8% from 2022 to 2023, with PAs who work in a hospital setting earning a median compensation of more than $130,000.

3. Fifty-one percent of clinicians prefer the recently revised professional title "physician associate" compared to 49 percent who prefer the original title of "physician assistant," according to 2023 research. The American Academy of Physician Assistants even changed its name to the American Academy of Physician Associates in 2022.

4. There have been a handful of ongoing lawsuits surrounding who has the right to use the title of "doctor." The move to ban nurse practitioners and physician assistants from using the "doctor" title has been met with opposition from groups such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The California Medical Association and the American Medical Association, on the other hand, claim there is a risk of public confusion. 

5. In 2022, the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants announced a change to recertification exams that was enacted in January 2023. An alternative exam is available that removes recertification stress and anxiety and focuses more on core medical knowledge. 

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