This article originally appeared in the June/July 2015 edition of PA Professional magazine.
For me, the day-to-day, in the trenches work—talking
with patients and caring for patients—that is what being a PA is about. In my clinic in Taylorsville, N.C., I see patients who are “Day 1” to those who are “as old as you get.” On average, I see 25−40 patients per day—sometimes more. It’s a tradeoff I am willing to make.
It’s one many PAs make. Our patients’ visits run the gamut. And, if you’re like me, a PA in family medicine, you get to see multigenerational patients. Truly, that is the best compliment you can get, isn’t it? When you see the young child of a patient you once saw.
I was born in the Bronx, N.Y. I grew up in Long Island, N.Y. You’re probably asking yourself, “How the heck did this guy from the Bronx end up being a PA in a town of less than 3,000 below the Mason Dixon line?” It’s simple, actually. It was love.
Both my twin brother and I fell in love with medicine when we were in high school, working as paramedics in Long Beach, N.Y. I saw you could truly affect change and help people. Eventually, my brother and I made our way to a Hickory, N.C., program for emergency medicine PAs. Thirty some odd years later, I’m a PA, part owner of—and full-time clinician at—a family medicine practice and president of AAPA.
I’m excited to carry on the great work that has been done to advance our profession. It’s been quite a year for PA wins. I’m looking forward to more practice barriers being shattered, more partnerships being created and more progress being made for PAs and patients.
Currently, we’re working to expand care by pushing for federal legislation that would authorize PAs to provide and manage hospice care for their patients who are Medicare beneficiaries. (Learn more about how you can help here.) We also need to engage PA students and early career PAs by providing them with leadership development opportunities. And we need to continue to bolster the bonds between AAPA and state PA groups, specialty organizations, caucuses and special interest groups.
I look forward to working on your behalf, and thank you for all that you do as PAs for our patients and the profession.
Jeffrey A. Katz, PA-C, DFAAPA, is AAPA president and chair of the board.