Leadership Blog

When PAEA Comes Together, All Members Benefit

I am often asked why I wanted to serve as president of PAEA. Similar to all PA educators, we are busy with our careers and life outside of academia and finding time can sometimes be challenging. However, when I am posed with that question, there’s always a good answer. After the Doctoral Summit, I have even another thing to add.

The discussion over whether PAs should earn a doctoral degree, instead of a master’s, as the minimum requirement for entering the profession is not a small issue. Across the PA profession there are a multitude of varied perspectives, and it’s unlikely there will ever be complete agreement.

But what I saw at the March 14-15 Doctoral Summit in Charlotte were professionals having spirited discussions that tested the assumptions, conclusions, and arguments in a tough but fair manner.

It was abundantly apparent that summit participants cared deeply and passionately about our profession! It was also encouraging to witness discussions that were open and respectful. Even when disagreements occurred, everyone appeared to walk away from this experience acknowledging that we all had the best interests of the PA profession in mind.

At this time, we ask our members to have patience while the Doctoral Summit Steering Committee collates data collected from the event in preparation for submitting a report to the PAEA Board of Directors. The Board will then use this information to craft a position statement to put before PAEA member programs for vote at the October 2023 PAEA Business Meeting. It is not until then when we will know the outcome of the current debate. 

As a profession, we will always be addressing difficult issues and should never believe that we’ve resolved a question permanently. This is a good thing! As the world evolves we must be attentive and ready.

The Doctoral Summit serves as a reminder to me that PAEA provides a unique service to its members. I am proud to lead an organization that was able to facilitate cooperative discussions between dedicated professionals who want the best for the future of PAs.   

So, when asked why I wanted to serve as president of PAEA, my response is easy. To have the opportunity to hold a leadership role in an organization that serves PA education in a way no one else does or could … who wouldn’t be honored to serve as the president of PAEA?