In this issue:
by Charlene M. Morris, DFAAPA, MPAS, PA-C
NCAPA’s 38th Summer Conference is now a fond memory and we are shaking sand from our shoes and sporting the Fun Run t-shirts with pride. I want to thank not only all the speakers and exhibitors who make this meeting happen, but also all the people who travel miles to attend with their families and friends. Over 1000 PAs and NPs attended this year and I enjoyed speaking with many of them throughout the week. One woman in my PALS course, a Duke alumni, traveled from Alaska to attend! I wish to personally thank our staff; Cathie, Carin and Kat have done exceptional work for NCAPA on several levels.
Perhaps you may not notice, but many long time and newer NCAPA members are constantly behind the scenes at Summer Conference, as well as in full sight, giving you your registration materials, passing out popsicle sticks as you cross the Fun Run finish line, and hosting the golf tournament. With almost 60 units of blood collected, our blood drive was a huge success, with fellow PAs actively and enthusiastically recruiting donors in the hall. Because of these efforts and the willing donors, we will have an expanded two-day blood drive in 2015.
All these endeavors take a LOT of perhaps imperceptible leg work to make happen. Please consider volunteering for NCAPA activities or committees! It is a gratifying experience and you will truly feel a part of your NCAPA.
Paul Hendrix received the NCAPA PA of the Year award for 2014. What Paul has accomplished for our Academy cannot be measured on any available yardstick or concept. He truly has laid the bricks that have become NCAPA.
Dr. Elizabeth Kanof from the NC Medical Board received a special award for her tireless advocacy concerning PAs in NC and nationally. She is a vivacious woman and has accomplished much on our behalf. Dr. Kanof’s strategy is to pay it forward; she identifies future PA leaders in NC and those who need guidance and gathers them to her. What a joy to meet with her and welcome her palpable enthusiasm!
I was asked to give the keynote speech at this year’s meeting, and found “PAlliative and Hospice Care” one of the easiest presentations I have ever developed. Patients and friends of mine from throughout the years gave me pictures, stories, reminders and recommendations. One friend asked my permission to correct my grammar and punctuation, which I truly appreciated. (She found six errors, which were immediately corrected!) Speakers are the basis for conferences and NCAPA chooses next year’s topics and presenters based on your feedback. If you attended Conference and have not yet done so, please follow the link sent to you by NCAPA and complete your evaluations.
Autumn arrives soon and I truly look forward to cooler temperatures, the cruciform vegetables that grace my garden and nature’s palette change in my woods.
Respectfully submitted– Charlene M. Morris, PA-C
Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed October 6-12 as Physician Assistant Week in North Carolina.
North Carolina is considered the birthplace of the physician assistant profession. Dr. Eugene A. Stead, Jr. developed the initial curriculum for Duke’s PA program based on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II. In 1965, Duke University Medical Center enrolled the first class of PAs. Today, more than 5,000 physician assistants are licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that PAs will be the second-fastest-growing profession in the next decade across the nation, increasing from 74,800 in 2008 to 103,900 in 2018.
North Carolina’s observance of Physician Assistant Week is part of the national celebration of the PA profession which is held annually to increase awareness of both the PA profession and the importance of PAs in the health and wellness of patients.
Physician assistants are represented on the state level by the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA), and nationally by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In addition, eight affiliated regional chapters of NCAPA are active in North Carolina. The NCAPA headquarters in Raleigh-Durham’s Research Triangle Park is named in Dr. Stead’s honor.
Full text of the Governor’s Proclamation:
WHEREAS, quality, affordable, and accessible patient-centered healthcare, provided by skilled practitioners, contributes to the well-being and quality of life for all citizens of North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, physician assistants are often the first point of contact for many patients and play a vital role in helping patients understand their medical needs and empower them to become effective advocates for themselves; and
WHEREAS, physician assistants are academically and clinically prepared to provide healthcare services, including diagnosis and treatment of disease, assistance in surgery, and prescribing medications with the direction of a supervising physician; and
WHEREAS, physicians assistants are a valuable asset to the medical community and work side-by-side with physicians to enhance the delivery of high-quality healthcare for patients, often in medically underserved and rural areas; and
WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina recognizes the dedication of physician assistants and the contributions they make as part of a healthcare team to ensure delivery of efficient and effective healthcare services;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Governor Pat McCrory, do hereby proclaim October 6–12, 2014, as PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT WEEK in North Carolina and commend its observance to all citizens.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this twenty-eighth day of May in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
AAPA is offering many resources free for your chapter, group or practice to use and are available at www.paweek.com. They also have State Stamps that you can use as email signatures, posters, signs or anything else you can imagine. These are available for FREE at http://bit.ly/PAweekstamp. If you’re in North Carolina, just click on the image of the stamp you would like to use below and save it to your desktop. Upload the image to facebook or twitter and use it as your profile pic during PA Week!
by Wanda Hancock, PA-C, Membership Committee Chair
The North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants annually recognizes a Physician Assistant who has gone above and beyond to support our profession and our organization, and reaches out to the community to further the effectiveness of the PA profession. The selection process is accomplished by nominations from the membership and evaluation of the nominees by previous awardees, board members, and a member of the Membership Committee. The 2013 awardee was Gail Curtis, PA-C who is currently the Vice President and Speaker of the House of Delegates for AAPA. North Carolina is blessed with excellent and involved PAs who give us all something to strive for during our career.
The NCAPA 2014 PA of the Year is Paul Hendrix. Paul is a charter member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, having been with the organization since its incorporation in 1976. Through Paul’s strategic planning abilities and commitment to our profession, the Conference Planning Committee (CPC) was developed. PAs and NPs from all over the country attend NCAPA Conferences, demonstrating the dedication and excellence of all members of the CPC. For the past 38 years, Paul has served as chair of the committee, where his vision and leadership have led to great success.
Paul has also served tirelessly as Treasurer of the organization since its inception, for all but two years when he took on the position of President. He continues to serve as the Treasurer and a member of the Finance Committee.
Paul was instrumental in the planning, construction and development of the Stead Center, which is the home of the NCAPA. His conservative nature and leadership has allowed us to be frugal enough so that we now own the building, which serves as a tribute to the PA profession. The NCAPA is the only PA organization that owns its own building and a great deal of credit for this is attributed to Paul Hendrix.
Each year, Paul proudly represents the NCAPA at the AAPA House of Delegates. He studies the issues facing our profession and represents us well at the annual conference. He continues to instil the values of this profession as he teaches the Duke Physician Assistant Program students. In addition, he serves on the Strategic Planning Committee to contribute to the continued growth and success of our academy. We are honored to recognize Paul Clyde Hendrix as the NCAPA 2014 PA of the Year.
by Lisa Shock,PA-C, Goverment Affairs Committee
The Government Affairs Committee of the NCAPA presented the first Special Recognition Award at the NCAPA annual membership meeting held during the Summer Conference on August 18, 2014. The award is to recognize really outstanding individuals involved in the PA profession. The Government Affairs Committee, led by Lisa Shock, wanted to honor Dr. Kanof for her many years of supporting and promoting the PA profession.
Dr. Kanof has wholly supported the PA profession for many years and has been very supportive of the physician-PA team. She has been instrumental in including PAs in the North Carolina Medical Society membership as well as in the Leadership College.
This year, Marian Cranford volunteered to create a suitable award for Dr. Kanof. Knowing Dr. Kanof’s appreciation of the arts and her affiliation with the NC Art Museum, we chose to create her award with a piece of art that she could enjoy and use in her home. A hand-blown vase by California artist Paul Harrie was selected. The award also included a “Resolution of Appreciation” written by Lisa Shock, which was printed on parchment and elegantly framed. NCAPA also chose to contribute $500 to the NC Museum of Art in Dr. Kanof’s honor.
Dr. Kanof and her husband, Dr. Ron Levine, were accompanied by Bob Seligson, Executive Vice President/CEO of the NCMS, for the presentation of the award.
NCAPA’s 29th Annual Recertification Exam and Review Conference will be held February 23-27 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham. Registration will be available on the NCAPA website in October.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires all medical examiners who wish to provide DOT/CDL exams to be trained and certified. NCAPA has developed a DVD series to train Commercial Driver Medical Examiners according to the new FMCSA standards and prepare them for the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Test. This course is approved for 6 hours of Category I CME*.
The DVD series includes 4 DVDs and a Course Workbook. A Post-Test & Answer Key with feedback will be e-mailed to you as well.
Read what other PAs are saying about NCAPA’s training:
“Thank you for producing an excellent DVD based course which was very helpful in passing the FMCSA Certified Driver Medical Examiner National Registry Examination. The lectures, review materials and summary of waiting periods are well organized and geared for Physician Assistants.” Nelson Zec, PA-C
“I was unable to attend an in-person class, so I ordered the NCAPA’s DVD set to gain my required Certified Medical Examiner training. This program exceeded my expectations in every way. The information presented was clear and thorough, and all of my questions were answered during the program. The accompanying written materials were a great supplement to the information provided by the lecturers, and will be a resource I use often in my clinic. I would recommend this affordable DVD program to anyone who cannot easily attend an in-person class.” Ryan Vann, PA-C
Click here to purchase the DVD set!
*This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 6.00 hours of AAPA Category I CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. Physician assistants should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.
by Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing
With the first dropping leaf comes the first gentle reminder that NCAPA is here,
all year long.
At our 2014 Summer Conference, the Membership Committee provided a scavenger hunt to discover exactly what our members know about NCAPA. The answers could all be discovered on the NCAPA website and reflected the benefits of NCAPA membership. Along with hunting for answers, we also asked each participant what they think is the most important benefit of NCAPA. The responses were:
- 46% Advocacy,
- 38% Discounts on CME and Conferences, and
- 16% Networking and Information.
We are once again reminded that what you view as the biggest benefit is the one we offer to everyone. For free.
NCAPA advocates for the PA profession. We advocate for your rights to prescribe drugs, your rights to fair pay, your rights to practice. NCAPA will continue to advocate for the rights of all PAs in the state of North Carolina, whether you are a member or not.
So why should you join or renew your membership with NCAPA? Because your membership dues make a difference. Your dues sustain our organization. Your membership dues allow us to support the staff and volunteers that are out there, advocating, connecting, and educating. Your dues enable us to exist.
Soon, you will be receiving a 2015 calendar postcard in the mail. Next month, you will receive your “official” renewal letter from NCAPA. Yes, your current annual membership will carry you to the end of 2014, but why not get a jump start on 2015? Don’t wait until the holiday wish lists start to pile up and your seasonal calendar gets full of activities. Join now. Renew your membership today and know that you are contributing to making the New Year even better for all PAs practicing in North Carolina. Join NCAPA and support our continued efforts to support you.
by Alisha DeTroye, PA-C, NCAPA Director at Large
NCAPA congratulates all of our 2nd year PA students. Some of you have recently started your clinical rotations, while others have recently graduated or are preparing for that milestone in the next few months. It is an exciting time as you celebrate accomplishing your goal of becoming a PA. It can also be a stressful time as you negotiate job offers, balance life transitions, and prepare for your certification exams as you part ways with your fellow peers who have been your rock on this journey of PA school. NCAPA has many resources to help you as a student member on our website. Please visit our highly valued job search site or learn more about the Winter Conference which is a great resource for preparation to take your certification exam. On November 1, make plans to attend the NCAPA Student Leadership Retreat. This is a great experience for leadership development and networking with fellow students as well as seasoned PAs. NCAPA wants to meet the needs of our student and fellow members. In order to make the transition to a fellow membership easier, you have the option of obtaining a new graduate discount the first year following graduation for half price, only $75! Most employers will pay for professional dues so remember to include these fees in your negotiations.
You may ask “What’s in it for me?” The answer is NCAPA has many opportunities for enhancing your career. I remember when I graduated that my main focus was getting settled in my new job, but it was also extremely important to support my professional organization. NCAPA is advocating for the 5000+ PAs practicing in NC and ensuring that we have the ideal practice environment that our profession deserves. So many of our predecessors have worked hard to improve the landscape for PAs and we want to maintain the progress that has been made as well as build on the foundation. This is achieved by having universal membership of NC PAs in NCAPA. We hope you will join us in this goal!
In addition to the advocacy efforts, NCAPA offers you the potential for enriching your career beyond your everyday practice. During school most students are enthusiastic about opportunities outside of the classroom; maintain that excitement by getting involved in NCAPA, either through your local regional chapter or by joining a committee on the state level. This will help you to understand key issues affecting PA practice, allow you to meet senior PAs who can share their knowledge and experience, as well as help you determine what your professional passions are and where you can make a difference either within your practice or externally.
NCAPA is a leader in providing quality continuing medical education. For those of you entering family practice, you may want to consider using the DOT training DVD course to become a credentialed DOT provider. As new guidelines are going into effect for self-assessment and performance improvement CME, NCAPA will be a source of expertise on these changes. Your PA mentors will also likely be seeking clarification from NCAPA. For traditional CME, you cannot beat the NCAPA Annual Winter Recertification Conference or the renowned Summer Conference at Kingston Plantation in North Myrtle Beach, SC. All of these are great resources for expanding your evidence based knowledge base, while concurrently learning through networking with your peers.
Hopefully you have seen the benefits of your NCAPA student membership. We look forward to expanding your experience as a fellow member. We appreciate any suggestions for improvement or feedback on your career resource needs. Congratulations and welcome to the profession!
NCAPA is seeking candidates to fill two vacant seats as alternates for our AAPA House of Delegates delegation. The NCAPA Board of Directors will select two Fellow members to serve as alternate delegates for abbreviated terms that begin on January 1, 2015 and end on June 30, 2015. Alternates will be expected to attend the AAPA HOD meeting in San Francisco May 23-27, 2015. Expenses will be paid by NCAPA.
In order to be considered, you must:
- Be a Fellow Member of NCAPA and AAPA in good standing through the previous calendar year.
- Submit a letter of intent (include your AAPA member ID#) and a brief platform statement to the NCAPA office no later than October 20, 2014.
The Board of Directors will consider eligible candidates and select two at the November 8, 2014 Board meeting, after which you will be notified of their decision. Submit materials by October 20th to NCAPA’s Executive Director, Cathie Feild, at Cathie.firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 919-479-9726. Questions may be directed to Cathie Feild at 919-479-1995.
by Samantha Rogers, PA-C, Student Affairs Committee Chair
Our students are our future. As Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, I am consistently proud of the work that our student representatives accomplish for the Academy as they complete rigorous courses of study at the same time. We are actively planning and finalizing our plans for the Fifth Annual NCAPA Student Leadership Retreat to be held on Saturday, November 1, at the Stead Center. The retreat is designed by the student representatives who serve on NCAPA’s board, and is geared specifically to the unique concerns of PA students about to enter the profession. This year, the students have invited Melissa Ricker, the SAAAPA President, to share her experiences in leadership as a student and now as a practicing PA. They have also extended invitations to some local PAs serving in our nation’s military to share their unique and long standing commitment to leadership. We are looking forward to an inspiring day.
Students should mark their calendars now for November 1st! Registration details will be coming soon. For more information, contact your NCAPA Student representative or Kat Nicholas, NCAPA Director of Membership and Marketing, at email@example.com.
The Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants is offering a FREE Fall Seminar on Saturday, October 11th, at the Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem. This conference will provide six hours of Category I CME approved by the AAPA, and is open to all Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. The conference will consist of six one hour-lectures, breakfast, snacks, lunch, and access to multiple exhibitors. Please direct any and all questions to PAPA Information.
The Far West NC Physician Extender Associates is offering their First Annual FREE Fall Conference on Saturday, October 11th, at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson, North Carolina. The Conference is open to all PAs and NPs and will provide six hours of AAPA approved Category 1 CME. Topics to be covered include Hematology, Pain Management, Diabetes, Mens Health, Hernias/General Surgery, General Health and Wellness. For information contact: Jane Girskis, PA-C at FW.NC.PEA@gmail.com
by Kondie Lykins, PA-S, Campbell University
Medicine is a Science. Medical Scientists treat patients.
I knocked and entered the exam room, where I saw Ms. Betty and introduced myself as a student. I asked about the signs and symptoms, showed respect, and never interrupted the patient. I asked questions, got the OLDCARTS information, and made my list of differentials. Next came the physical exam in order to narrow my diagnoses. Once I was satisfied I was correct, I made a plan and decided on a follow up. I graciously thanked the patient and said I would return with my preceptor. I delivered my oral presentation on Ms Betty to my preceptor and suggested my treatment and follow up. If you placed my encounter up against the rubric, I was near flawless. I was becoming proficient at the Science of Medicine.
But Medcine is an Art, and my preceptor is an Artist.
After hearing my presentation, my preceptor said, “Let’s go see Ms. Betty.” We entered the exam room and I expected my preceptor to double check my work and verify my diagnosis. Instead, she sat down in front of Ms. Betty and looked her in the eye.
“My student says you have a cold. What’s really the problem?”
“What do you mean, ‘what’s the problem’?” Ms. Betty asks.
“In all the time I’ve known you, you’ve never come in to see me when you have a cold. What is the problem?” Ms. Betty stares at her feet for several silent moments. Just when I think I should get up and leave the room, she looks up and begins to speak. Ms. Betty is at a point in her life where she has outlived many of her friends and loved ones. She has seen a few of them not doing well in hospitals and does not care to see people in that condition ever again. Ms. Betty is a sweet lady but always keeps emotions in check. As emotional as she ever will be, Ms. Betty describes how a loved one is in the hospital with a poor prognosis and not doing well. She loves this person very much, but is afraid to see her loved one in that condition. Ms. Betty talks for several minutes and we listen. After awhile, she finishes. My preceptor offers a few words of support, encouragement, and love – a powerful therapeutic mixture. Ms. Betty stands and she and my preceptor exchange hugs. Ms Betty gives me a smile and shakes my hand. Then she leaves the clinic, still with problems, but better able to cope with them and feeling much better than when she arrived.
I walk back to my computer, very aware that I had done everything textbook perfect and could not have been more wrong. My preceptor knew what her friend needed.
Medicine is an Art. Medical Artists treat people.
from the NC Medical Board
When the supervisory relationship between a physician and a mid-level practitioner ends, it is the responsibility of the supervisee to notify the appropriate licensing board.
Physician assistants should notify the NC Medical Board by going online to the Board’s website to inactivate their supervisory relationship. The form can be accessed under the Licensing section. Select PA Intent to Practice Form and click on the button to submit notification online. Please note that the Intent to Practice Form is used to activate, as well as inactivate, a supervisor. PAs also use the form to update their home and primary practice address, or to add an additional practice location.
On occasion, mid-level practitioners do not inactivate one primary supervising physician when moving to a new supervisor. If a physician licensee becomes aware that he or she is still listed as a mid-level’s primary supervisor when this is no longer the case, the licensee should notify the appropriate licensing board. For assistance removing a former PA supervisee, physicians should contact the Medical Board at 919-326-1100 or 1-800-253-9653 and ask to speak to the PA Liaison.
from Healthcare Providers Service Organization
Play it Safe with Social Media
Social media is connecting us in new ways. In an age of electronic communication — Texting, facebooking, tweeting, personal blogs—physician assistants like yourself are getting into the act, too. It’s imperative for today’s PA to be aware of not only the benefits of using social media, but also some of the potential pitfalls.
Harnessing The Potential
Social media can be a tremendous resource of industry information for healthcare practitioners.
Many organizations like the Centers for Disease Control have established a presence in order to improve the speed and quality of educational material and product content online.
Other PAs are finding new ways to keep up on the latest news and research, connect with patients, and enhance communication with other providers. By participating in social media outlets, healthcare practitioners can discuss issues related to the medical industry: best practices, safety, patient education, etc. Social media, when used in a healthcare setting, carries with it a caution—the need to protect patient privacy.
Proceed With Caution
As we become more accustomed to the role of social media in healthcare, patient confidentiality should remain foremost in the PA’s mind as you choose how and what to post through social media. Use the same level of caution and common sense that one applies to traditional communication tools regarding privacy, professionalism and patient rights:
- You should never share your work experiences on any social media sites
- Do not reveal any information that can identify the patients you care for
- Do not give any medical advice on any social media site
- Do not share any experiences on challenging patients
- Do not share any experiences on an interesting medical problem
- Do not post any patient information on your personal page
- Use common sense
- Protect patient privacy
- Adhere to the legal and regulatory requirements such as those of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Even though social media is a great way to stay connected, always remember to follow your organization’s guidelines regarding email and other electronic communication when you’re using social media. Social media guidelines and policies should be clear, and your employer should spell out consequences for violations. By the same token, employers should provide examples of acceptable social media postings, and should take the opportunity to conduct staff training on the policies and procedures, such as:
- Rules and etiquette
- Parameters for use during working and non-working hours
- Potential legal perils
- Patient confidentiality issues
- Disciplinary consequences for misuse
- Training session content and attendance should be documented.
By remembering to protect patient privacy and follow your organization’s policies, you can access a wealth of information and connect with PA colleagues online while avoiding liability issues, all while keeping yourself—and your patients—safe.
This risk management information was provided by Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), the #1 provider of professional liability insurance for over 1 million healthcare professionals, and is now offering the same quality coverage, financial strength and level of service to Physician Assistants.The professional liability insurance policy is administered through HPSO and underwritten by American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania, a CNA company. Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. For questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call1-800-982-9491. www.hpso.com.
from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has published a Final Rule that switches tramadol from a legend drug to a Schedule IV controlled substance, effective August 18, 2014.
As of the effective date, all drug manufacturers will be required to print the designation “C-IV” on every bottle of medication and it will be unlawful for commercial containers of tramadol to be distributed without that designation. In addition, all DEA registrants will be required to take an inventory of all tramadol stock.
Tramadol’s new status may have implications for some licensees who may prescribe the drug to family members or to themselves.
According to administrative rules 32B .1001, 32s .0212, and 32M .0109 licensees are expressly prohibited to prescribe controlled substances to themselves or to immediate family members. The Board’s position statement entitled, “Self-treatment and treatment of family,” cautions against treating and prescribing for oneself and for immediate family members except in emergencies or for minor, acute illnesses. Licensees who may have self-prescribed tramadol in such circumstances should be advised that doing so will be prohibited once the drug’s new status is in effect.
To read the DEA’s Final Rule regarding tramadol, visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2014/fr0702.htm
What is a Schedule IV drug?
Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse relative to substances in Schedule III. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are: Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien
Source: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration