American Psychiatric Association Statement in Response to the AAPA House of Delegates Decision to Change Their Professional Title to "Physician Associate"

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8, 2021 – Patients deserve a clear understanding of the roles played by all those who partner in their care, as they already experience difficulty in identifying who is or is not a physician. It is important to provide transparency and clarity, not create more confusion, and put their safety at risk.

The AAPA’s decision to rebrand their profession by changing the title of physician assistant (PA) to physician associate does not accurately convey PA responsibilities under the critical guidance of a physician-led team. In the name of medical care transparency, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) strongly opposes this name change as it will exacerbate the challenges patients already face when discerning the qualifications of those who are both providing and leading their care.

American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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