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MrBob

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Friend of mine brought something to my attention after discussing a large PA/NP meeting which is held locally. He commented to his sister (who is my office manager) about not being interested in attending that meeting anymore because " it just wasn't worth the trouble". She asked me about it and I, after thinking about it recall several events at PA meetings of various types that really turned me off about PA meetings in general. I will certainly piss someone off here, but I ask that young PA's think about this before asking for a meeting on main street in front of the saloon at high noon.

It seems that every PA meeting I go to, whether national or local, There are hundreds of young PA/NPs running around the meeting in shorts, t-shirts, camoflouge pants, cut off's etc, in the most relaxed, sloppy attire they can come up with. It happens universally...check it out at this years meeting in Boston. Go to an MD meeting and they are wearing slacks and a golf shirt or casual dress but neat. Every time I go to a PA meeting and there is a display room, it looks like Filenes (did I spell that right?) in Boston waiting to open the doors for a big sale. And when the door opens the crowd grabs plastic bags and literally swipes the tables clean of pens, cups, key rings and any other junk the drug companies might put out for the taking. I have seen these things happen time and time again. Pushing, shoving, and just acting like college kids on spring break in Cancun.

When you go to an MD meeting...not the same....casual looking at displays, take a pen, maybe a cup, a Sanfords guide, politely take and throw away drug info shoved into your hand by the rep....much different atmosphere....

How about paying attention to the way we present ourselves when we attend these events?

I am most interested in hearing others comments about this subject.

Remember PA students......you are the new us...help us clean up our image and keep it professional.......
 

Bandit

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Bob, I could not agree more. Knowing that I too am a biker like you, I often find myself in jeans, tee shirt and leather -- WHEN I AM NOT AT WORK. When I attend these meetings, dinners, party or any other extension of the professional atmosphere I dress apropriately. I have noticed exactly what you speek of with other PA`s. It bugs me that they do not see it as a projection of themselves and the profession.

Freedom, if you still read these, this one is for you. I saw a child last week who clearly pesented with menigial sx. I was (understandably) a bit nervous. I have done 6 or 7 LP`s in about 5 years, but to be honest -- never alone. I thought the best option here was to start the antibiotics and then --here it comes freedom just for you!--CALL A DOC!! NOW!! I called my supervisor immediately
and asked him if he wanted me to do the LP or simply start the abx. Alls well that ends well, but I gotta tell ya -- even for those of us that were at the top of our class as PA`s -- I sure was glad I could call upstairs for the real help.
 

Freeeedom!

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Praise Jeeeesus, good move. I actually did 3 LP's in one night (in 3 different positions) about a year ago.
I would hope, that Physician Assistants working in fast track/clinics realize the liability of "non referral".

And by the way, though my Doctorate degree does not cause me to automatically buy golf shirts at Nordstroms...it is important to maintain professionalism in dress (especially at meetings).

Funny note (this DOES NOT REFER TO YOU TWO), my last attending called Physician Assistants "usually just a bunch of kids with bachelor's"...I thought it was fitting considering what you just pointed out.
 
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Bandit

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3 in one nite huh? Wow.
We do agree that it is important to maintain professionalism in dress. Myself, I am always in coat and tie at these things. To tell ya the truth, and Bob will probably back me up on this, as an older PA I really have very little contact with most at the meetings. The cavalier attitude that runs through is not my style.

Recently, a friend (PA) and myself attended a seminar about critical care. One of the women there (MD) turns to me and said "we have some PA`s in our ED and they are slow as ****" -- well, I chucked and let it pass. Later I ran into her and her husband again and told them I was a PA and she could back track fast enough!! She just assumed I was a physician. I guess we were the only two PA`s there.

Your attending called Physician Assistants "usually just a bunch of kids with bachelor's". Here is the real trouble with the profession. He is probably right going on his experiences. Not all PA`s are created equal. It is a shame.

3 in one nite huh?

PS; as an old PT--dont you have a dresser full of pull overs??? ha ha
 

MrBob

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gosh.....I am gonna sound like I'm bragging here but when I worked in my first Er about 20 years ago the PA's were expected to do everything and LP's were common then...we did 'em on all kids with a febrile seizure (not so now) so I have probably done a couple of hundred of these. In fact we once had a sort of game (as unprofessional as it may sound) to see who could do the most atraumatic taps in a row...I made it to 50 then got a few RBCs and was knocked off the ladder....NEVER had a complication. They are much more scary looking than they really are to do. You probabaly are both great at 'em and don't even realize it.....there's really not much there to hurt if you are at the right level.
 

Freeeedom!

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HAHA! Yeah, I did have alot of Polo's, I think that is the universal uniform for PT's. But, I am a minimalist, so I clean my closet 2 times a year and get rid of tons of clothes...not dress shirts though.

Yeah, 3 in one night...very busy ER. Yeah, an atraumatic tap, the socalled "champagne tap" (attending physician buys you a bottle of champagne) has been ellusive to me. My best was a SINGLE (one, uno, 1)red cell. That was PURELY luck, and I called it a "beer tap".
 

hawkeyes

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This is such an old thread, but I'll post in case anyone still cares. I totally agree with Mr. Bob as well. I tend to be a little casual in dress, partly becuase I'm a "young PA" and partly becuase I'm from Cali. But I never wear old jeans, let alone shorts, to a conference! I have not been to many, so Mr. Bob's original description is quite appalling. For the sake of the profession, I hope he is exaggerating, though with the confirmation of others, I fear that he is not. Anyway, I will be on the lookout in Boston. I will be there - anyone else?
As for the "kids with bachelors" comment... please explain? :( I was somewhat offended, though not terribly, since I don't know you. However PA school was grad school for me and I went to an excellent, academic program.. it wasn't just on the job training. It was real school, real grad school, in fact. :) Understanding though, that the comment could just be a reflection on the lack of standardization in PA training, ... I will just say that it is just too bad that our image can be so easily generalized and flippantly degraded.
 

PACmatthew

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Man, I think you guys are getting to be a bit over-the-top. My gosh, a conference is a place to be comfortable, learn good info, and have a vacation all at the same time. I honestly do not see why it makes a difference what we wear as long as it is not something you would not ordinarily wear to school for instance as a PA student. I mean we aren't around patients, and who are we trying to impress? The taxi drivers, and the concierge? When I have been to a conference, I tend to wear shorts, Teva's, and a decent shirt. I don't wear this when I see patients, and I don't wear this to the hospital. Now as for the opening of the exhibit hall, I think it is highly embarrassing that PA's rant a rave like they are trying to get front row at the Stones concert. A few pens and an occassional medical tool are not worth making a scene. I hate this part of the conference and wish they would just open it at some unknown time. Come on Bob, you grew up in the 60's, so why do you care what someone wears to a conference? If you think I will be any different when I am a physician you are wrong. My patients like me now because I am down to earth and because I am not stuffed shirted. I wear jeans every Friday and would prefer to wear them more often. I never wear a tie. I am an all American guy who takes the time to listen to his patients and learn about their lives. Its not about what you wear, but about how you care. I know you know this Bob being the doc of a small town. They like you because you know everyone in their family, and because you know about their troubles, hobbies, and because you ride a motorcyle. You are down to earth I can tell, so I was surpised to see this post coming from you. Yes, I do wear nice garb to the conference dinners and functions other than the lectures, but I will always be wearing shorts and sandals until they start having the conference at a ski resort in March.
 

MrBob

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I think you really know what I meant, Matt.
There is a professional stature that should be kept if you representing a professional organization. That's all and that's just my observation. Not all will agree with nor adhere to it...that's why there's chocolate and vanilla. I wasn't trying to set standards, just to make us think about what sort of image we might project to the public...................Bet you do do somethings a bit different when you get to be one of "Gods chosen few" (sorry, I'm stil steamed about that Freedom guy)
 

hawkeyes

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I just got back from a great conference in Boston. I tried to be really observant, and to my pleasure saw that almost all attendees were very professionally dressed. :wink: I was actually very critical, thinking often of this post, but could only identify a small minority that I thought were perhaps too casual. Perhaps it is a regional thing too, as I've been to conferences with mixed attendance in Cali, and the people are much much more casual. Now about the exhibits.. there were a shameless few. It was amusing for me to see, actually, and my roommates and I were given the oppty to share the funniest stories! Can't wait till New Orleans!
 
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