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  1. #1
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    Jul. 25, 2007
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    Default Physicians Assistant = Doctor?

    I know of someone who refers to themselves as a "doctor" when in fact they are a licensed physicians assistant. He/she does see patients in an office, but does not have credentials of either a PhD, MD, DO etc. Someone once confronted him/her on this and they threatened legal action for defamation of character. So, my question is, are PA's considered to be doctors?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 25, 2005
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    Default

    No.


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  3. #3
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    Jul. 26, 2007
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    Default

    The person should have assured the PA that the person would be only too happy to counter sue. This misrepresentation is probably a violation of the PA's license and in any case is a red flag for "secretly dangerous and wacko health care provider" to me.


    16 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Jul. 25, 2007
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharonA View Post
    The person should have assured the PA that the person would be only too happy to counter sue. This misrepresentation is probably a violation of the PA's license and in any case is a red flag for "secretly dangerous and wacko health care provider" to me.
    Well, it should come as no surprise that this person is a chronic "over-exaggerator" to put it nicely. I personally think its unethical, but due to this persons combative nature would never call them out on it.


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  5. #5
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    Jun. 19, 2001
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    Pacific NW
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    Default

    Unless the person holds a doctorate in something, they cannot call themselves a doctor. If they are leading people to think that they are a medical doctor, I'm pretty sure that's a legally protected title, and if they were to be reported to their PA licensing authority (not to mention the state authority for MDs, the poop would hit the fan. I know in my state you can report anonymously.


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  6. #6
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    May. 17, 2001
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    Default

    Just getting ready to post and Kestrel beat me to it. Just drop a note to the state's medical board stating that xxxx, PA is identifying himself/herself as an MD.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    NY
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    Default

    Well....I thought that P.A.s can see patients and prescribe medication, but under the supervision of a licensed physician (not personally supervised, but practicing under supervision).

    So while I agree that the P.A. shouldn't call themselves a "doctor", I'd get clarification before I assumed they were doing anything actually illegal or "secretly dangerous"....

    Maybe a physician can chime in; my knowledge is from my own experience seeing a P.A. (within a larger practice) and also a niece who is choosing to become a Nurse Practitioner instead of a P.A. because of the ability to practice independently...so I may not be correct.



  8. #8
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    No they cannot represent themselves as a doctor. Report them.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    7 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2004
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    Default

    No, PAs are not doctors and cannot represent themselves as such.

    PAs are, however, generally very well educated and just as competent as traditional MDs when it comes to treating patients. I'm being treated by a PA for my thyroid/Hashimoto's, and you basically couldn't pay me to go see a 'doctor' anymore.

    But hopefully this bad apple will wise up and realize they truly cannot refer to themselves that way.
    Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLR1 View Post
    I know of someone who refers to themselves as a "doctor" when in fact they are a licensed physicians assistant. He/she does see patients in an office, but does not have credentials of either a PhD, MD, DO etc. Someone once confronted him/her on this and they threatened legal action for defamation of character. So, my question is, are PA's considered to be doctors?
    No. Not unless they possess a Doctoral degee in some discipline. If they do, then you get ssome interesting questions.

    If an RN has a PhD in Nursing how are they addressed?

    If a PA has a PhD in a non-medical field is it deceptive, even if legal, to claim the term "doctor?"

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Default

    PA, and Nurse Practitioners are not physicians, and must see and treat patients under supervision of a licensed Medical Doctor. They are not entitled to the title Doctor, unless they have also acquired a doctorate in another field, but they would be ill advised to use the title while working in a medical practice.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  12. #12
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    Feb. 15, 2010
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    I have a PA who is more competent and has a better bedside manner than most doctors I see, so as far as I am concerned she can call herself whatever she likes as long as she doesn't call me late for my appointment.
    Proud Member of the "I Don't Do Facebook" Clique


    4 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    PA, and Nurse Practitioners are not physicians, and must see and treat patients under supervision of a licensed Medical Doctor.
    Incorrect. Nurse Practitioners practice autonomously. They are NOT under the supervision of an MD. Physician's assistants must practice with supervision. In some states NPs can own their own practices.

    One can obtain a PhD in nursing, and these people can correctly be called "Dr. So and So" but most nursing PhDs work in academia or administration, so it's unlikely that one of them will be providing bedside care, causing confusion with their title. I'm not aware of any PhD programs in physician's assisting.


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  14. #14
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    Jul. 16, 2003
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    I'm not sure how this is relevant to horses. I think that if people informally refer to a P.A. or N.P. as their "doctor," that is fine, just as a little kid might call their tutor or T.A. "Teacher." I would tell my boss, "I have a doctor appointment" even if I was going to be seen by a N.P. or P.A., or "I have a dentist appointment" even if a dental hygienist was doing the work, for example.

    "Dr. Laura" was lambasted for using her Ph.D. in Physiology to try to give her "counseling" services more credibility, but she at least technically had the right to use the "Dr." honorific outside of a medical context. By saying that he'll sue someone for defamation of character for refusing to call him by a qualification he hasn't earned, it gives me the impression that he's some sort of drama queen or outright has some sort of personality or psychological disorder. I would report the incident to the licensing board and/or his supervising physician.
    Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.


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  15. #15
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    Dec. 15, 2005
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    I am a nurse practitioner. Many newly graduated NPs have a doctorate in nursing/DNP. I have a masters degree and a post masters certificate. I always introduce myself as a nurse practitioner. Still, many families and some staff at the low income clinic where I work refer to me as "doctor." I understand that in Central America and South America, there are no NPs, so it is confusing for our families. Apparently, there is not even a Spanish word for nurse practitioner. I try to explain, but I don't think it often sinks in.


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  16. #16
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Default

    PA's do wonderful work, and every one I've known has been particularly careful to NOT pass themselves off as a doctor. I wouldn't hesitate to go to a PA except for this one: very fishy to call themselves a doctor. I agree: report them immediately. It's very wrong to impersonate a doctor when you are not.

    As for "calling them out on it," simply ask from which medical school they graduated or if they are an MD or a DO. "Oh, cool, where'd you graduate from medical school?" is hardly calling them out. Will be interesting to hear their response.

    Also agree this topic has nothing to do with horses.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 2, 2001
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    Ft Worth, TX, USA
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    Default

    I'll make this vaguely horse related. Because of "horse related" injury I saw a neurosurgeon. Because I absolutely detested his PA I'm now seeing a different surgeon. Along with obviously being a Dr. wannabe, aforementioned P A was so condescending I almost cussed her out. I did have to see him once more, and when I made the appt. I told them under no circumstances would I drive the 60 miles to his office unless I ONLY saw the real Dr.
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

    What's the status on Tuco?


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  18. #18
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    Feb. 27, 1999
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    Default

    In case you all missed it, this is the "OT Day" forum, which seems to have joined us for good at the moment. This thread doesn't have to be horse related!


    12 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Default

    Anne, this thread was posted in Off Course originally.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Apr. 20, 2013
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    Area IV
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    No. Not unless they possess a Doctoral degee in some discipline. If they do, then you get ssome interesting questions.

    If an RN has a PhD in Nursing how are they addressed?

    If a PA has a PhD in a non-medical field is it deceptive, even if legal, to claim the term "doctor?"

    G.
    I'm a CRNA and our discipline is going to a mandatory doctorate program starting in 2015. I would never address myself as Dr Cindy in a hospital setting. On my name tag, it would be Cindy C. CRNA, PhD. In a university setting, IF, I were a professor, then yes, Doctor would be appropriate.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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