It’s shaping up to be another interesting year for PAs in Idaho and the nation in terms of advancing the profession. Over the course of my tenure, my aim will be to determine necessary changes to advance the profession in the state as we continue to negotiate the impact of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Optimal Team Practice (OTP) policy on the practice environment for PAs in the state of Idaho. I recognize that as providers, we grow and learn as we practice medicine, eventually requiring less supervision or general guidance as we gain experience. As such, I believe we should explore options which enable PAs to practice at the top of their knowledge and education and ensure an environment that accommodates the needs of collaborative teams of physicians and PAs.
We continue to have a positive, collaborative relationship with the Idaho Medical Association (IMA). The benefits to PAs in Idaho from this relationship are many and varied. Idaho is one of only two states in the nation which maintains a very close relationship with its state physician organization – the IAPA is physically located with the IMA’s offices, and receives lobbying/legislative services from the IMA supporting our efforts and voice in legislative changes. As many IAPA presidents before me have done, I encourage this highly beneficial relationship. OTP is a complex issue, and we are taking a collaborative approach with the IMA to work through questions raised by recent AAPA OTP policy. IAPA is currently engaged in a work group with the IMA to address the regulatory environment for PA’s, and come to a mutually beneficial resolution to some of the concerns with PA regulation.
As PAs, we have a unique educational structure that can limit our personal bond with peers compared to other medical professional training programs. The majority of us only know our didactic cohort over the course of a year. It’s easy to let those bonds and relationships wane as we become more and more involved in our individual practices and lives. To some extent, I believe these aspects lead PA associations to have relatively lower membership than other professional associations, making representation for the PA profession challenging. I would encourage all of you who are members to talk to your colleagues about becoming members of the Idaho Academy of PAs. IAPA is an organization of PAs for PAs. As we increase our membership, we can increase the strength of our voice as a profession.
I look forward to working on the many issues facing PAs in Idaho over the coming year. The IAPA Board of Directors would like to hear your comments, concerns, and ideas. Please contact us through the form below. We hope you will enjoy our newly renovated website, which we hope you will find more user friendly and informational.
Thank you for your commitment to PA practice and Idaho. I hope to see you in Sun Valley this April for our Annual CME Conference!
Todd Salzsieder, PA-C
President, Idaho Academy of Physician Assistants