Celebrating 50 Years: Gene Jones Past President Snapshot

Gene Jones, PhD, PA-C, Emeritus

Today, PA educators are facing the question of whether the PA profession should adopt an entry-level doctorate. During his 1999-2000 PAEA presidential term, Gene Jones, PhD, PA-C, Emeritus, encountered a similar debate: the transition from the entry-level bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree. Read Dr. Jones’ snapshot to look back on this initiative, the advancement of CASPA, and an important mentorship program.

 What was happening in PA education during your year as president?   

During my 1999/2000 APAP presidency, the biggest topic among PA educators was the transition from bachelor’s degrees to master’s degrees for entry-level PA education. In my “APAP Update Column” of February 2000, I wrote, “The coming year will include continuation of the Degree Task Force discussion. The Task Force has received written comments from the membership and will be meeting this spring to continue their discussions and forthcoming recommendations. We currently have a 3.5 hour block of time reserved for the discussion in Chicago on Saturday, May 27. Additionally, the CASPA web-based application is on target with an unveiling planned at the same meeting.” That business meeting was certainly lively, with members holding strong opinions about the possible outcome regarding the entry-level degree issue.

What were the highlights of your presidency?

As the projected success of CASPA foretold a more robust and steady income stream, work began with APAP staff, Finance Committee members, and AAPA representatives to discuss APAP (which later became PAEA) becoming an independent entity.

Looking back on your PAEA presidency, what are you most proud of?

During the APAP/PAEA transition era, it was expected that each president would initiate a project that they had a personal interest and investment in. In my case, it was the successful launch of the first Mentor project that resulted in the pairing of 14 experienced PA educators with newer faculty members. This effort was replicated in 2009 by Theresa Hegmann, PA-C.