Thoughts on the FPAR survey

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The American Academy of PAs recently published a survey on the concept of full practice authority and responsibility (FPAR).1 The AAPA has an immense responsibility when conducting and disseminating the results of this survey. AAPA has worked hard over the last year to promote FPAR and its inherent bias in implementing this survey must be noted. This survey appears to have been conducted to support AAPA's initiative rather than determine how PAs in the United States felt about this proposed monumental change in practice.
Because AAPA is using these survey results to support its initiative, I must further point out some issues with the quality and reliability from the survey results that affect the ability to use it to make informed decisions:
As this survey accounts for fewer than 8% of certified PAs in the United States, I would argue that the results of this survey do not provide a representative sample of the entire PA community.
Finally, as a PA educator, I must add that this survey did not pose any questions seeking respondents' input on the educational preparation required to implement FPAR. The effects on education following the proposed changes to PA practice are unclear. Yet, learning from our NP and physical therapy colleagues, it is likely that the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant will weigh in on these changes and this movement will push us to the dreaded doctorate of PA studies.
As we celebrate 50 years of our profession, I implore the AAPA and all PAs to be thoughtful and cautious: Carefully consider the information gathered thus far and give all PAs time to consider the implications of FPAR.
Virginia L.
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