Oregon 1st state to adopt 'physician associate'

Oregon has become the first state in the U.S. to adopt legislation changing the "physician assistant" title to "physician associate." 

The Oregon State Legislature passed the bill March 6, and Gov. Tina Kotek signed it into law April 4. 

"Thanks to the passage of House Bill 4010, PAs will have a title that more accurately reflects our scope of practice and will give patients a better understanding of the important credentials and responsibilities that PAs have within the healthcare system,"  Alisa Gifford, president of the Oregon Society of Physician Associates, said in an April 5 news release. "I hope it helps pave the way for other states to update their title as well."

The American Association of Physician Associates voted to adopt "physician associate" as the official title for the profession in 2021. AAPA and several state chapters have officially changed their legal name to reflect the new title. Changing the legislative arena at the state and federal level is a more difficult process that could take a decade or more, AAPA told Becker's in November.

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