Jennifer Orozco, DMSc, PA-C: Key Points from Presentation on ‘PAs Go Beyond’ Campaign

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An interview on several major highlights from Dr. Orozsco’s presentation about the greater visibility and importance of physician associates at SDPA 2022.

During her interview with HCPLive, Jennifer Orozco DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, discussed the major talking points of her presentation from the SDPA 20th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference.

Orozco works as the president and chair of American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), in addition to working as the director of Advanced Practice Providers at Rush University Medical Center.

The interview began with a discussion on changes in healthcare, followed by a description of the value of physician associates (PAs) in the modern medical world.

“So as healthcare has evolved and changed, it doesn't look the same as it did in the 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, even 5 years ago,” she explained. “Healthcare is completely different now than it was…And we have to have laws that catch up, that allow PAs in particular, as one of that workforce in healthcare, to do what they were able to train to do.”

During the interview, Orozco also mentioned the AAPA name change recently enacted, changing the role’s title from physician assistant to physician associate.

“So, overwhelmingly, we voted to change the name to ‘physician associate,’ as you know, where in the American Academy of Physician Associates,” she said. “The name change will start to occur in states throughout many years, it'll take many years to change state law…This is something PAs and their organizations can begin using: physician associate. And, you know, nothing will change in practice, no scope changes, none of that. It really is truly a different name which represents who we are and what we are in a better fashion.”

Orozco described the PAs Go Beyond campaign designed to spread the word about the training, skills, and general value of PAs.

“The other piece, and some of the highlights that I wanted to hit on is really (about) our PAs,” she explained. “Because the tremendous visibility of PAs and what they do, and their impact on patients, is important. We have 500 million patient interactions a year. And so with ‘PAs Go Beyond,’ we want patients to understand who they're seeing, how we're trained, what we are, and the impact that we can have in their lives.”

Orozsco also described the commitment of the AAPA to diversity in the PA profession.

“The other piece that I want to talk about is really our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” she explained. “And as President and Chair of the AAPA, this is something that we've talked about and is really important, not only to keep talking about but to actually take action on. And we are partnering with the 4 other organizations in the PA world to really have a cross organizational strategy of diversity, equity and inclusion in the PA profession, and frankly, all of medicine.”

To learn more about Dr. Orozco’s presentation at SDPA 2022, view this interview segment above.