Musings: Blog of the JAAPA Editorial Board


Blog of the JAAPA editorial board.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Today is the last day for the exhibit hall (interactive map).  Brunch bites will be offered from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today at various stations.

Come visit JAAPA at booth 1201. Podcast hosts Kristopher R. Maday, MS, PA-C, and Adrian S. Banning, MMS, PA-C, will be recording live at noon today. Post on Facebook or Twitter during the conference (using #jaapanola in your post or tweet) for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Interested in serving our country? Already are serving? The Uniformed Services Symposium is today. Lt. Col. Amelia Duran-Stanton is one of the speakers, discussing musculoskeletal injuries and fractures from 1-2 p.m. today in Level 3, room 349. She wrote in the December 2017 issue of JAAPA about handling diseases and nonbattle injuries in austere environments.

Get the tl;dr on our author guidelines! Join JAAPA editors and editorial board members from 1-2:30 p.m. today in Level 2 room 242 for a workshop on writing for publication in medical journals.

Monday, May 21, 2018

​Today’s the day for the inaugural iScan competition, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Grand Salon D on the first floor of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Student teams will show off their ultrasound skills across a variety of clinical circumstances. Come see the difference that point-of-care-ultrasound can make in your practice and while you're at it, join the pros in the hands-on ultrasound bullpen to see how easy it is to obtain, interpret and implement ultrasound into your clinical practice and learn how you can incorporate ultrasound into you PA school curriculum.

 At left, Daniel Bertrams, MMS, PA-C, demonstrates ultrasound technique at AAPA 2017.


The AAPA ePoster Stations are open through Wednesday and feature original research from PAs, PA students, and other professionals on topics from case studies and clinical research to educational and outreach innovations. Select ePoster abstracts will be published online by JAAPA later this year and will be indexed in Ovid. ePoster Meet the Author Sessions are held from noon to 2 p.m. daily.

The exhibit hall opens today. Visit JAAPA at booth 1201 and stop by at noon tomorrow when podcast hosts Kristopher R. Maday, MS, PA-C, and Adrian S. Banning, MMS, PA-C, will be recording live. Post on Facebook or Twitter during the conference (using #jaapanola in your post or tweet) for a chance to win a $100 gift card. One gift card will be given away on each day of the exhibit hall.

Are you interested in writing for publication in JAAPA or other journals? Join JAAPA editors and editorial board members from 1-2:30 p.m. tomorrow in Level 2 room 242 for a workshop on how to craft your manuscript to inform and educate your readers and successfully pass peer review and nitpicky editors.

Be sure to come out at 7 tonight to cheer your favorite team on at the National Medical Challenge Bowl. As part of the festivities, JAAPA will formally present awards to the winners of the 2018 Tanya Gregory Student Writing Contest. The winning article in the clinical or research category is the January 2017 research article on “Evaluating the lifestyles of physicians and PAs in orthopedics”  by Katherine M. Shannon and Daniel J. Merenstein, MD. Ms. Shannon was a student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., when the article was written and is now a PA student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Merenstein is director of research programs in the department of family medicine at Georgetown University.

The winner in the humanities category is the August 2017 Becoming a PA article on “The business of oncology” by Greg Allen, PA-C, who was a PA student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., when he wrote this article. He now practices in interventional radiology at the CDI Vascular Care Clinic in St. Louis Park, Minn.

Learn about tips for encouraging patients to adopt lifestyle modifications for diabetes and obesity. Ellen D. Mandel, DMH, MPA, MS, PA-C, a member of the JAAPA board, will speak on this topic from 8-9 a.m. tomorrow in Level 2 room 260.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

​Conference registration is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. A blood drive sponsored by the Blood Center will be held in room 342 from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up here or just drop by. See the ePosters and meet the authors from noon-2 p.m. daily. A schedule of Meet the Author Sessions is available at the Research Information Booth and in the AAPA app.

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, drinks, live music, and dancing at the Party with a Purpose from 7-10 tonight at B.B. King’s Blues Club. Proceeds from this event benefit the PA Foundation.

Hear keynote speaker Jeff Evans, PA, at the general session at 4 p.m. today. Evans is a mountaineer, world-renowned adventurer, and sought-after speaker whose stories and experiences will inspire you to connect with your own potential, each other, the world, and all its possibilities. He’ll talk about delivering emergency medical care on the frontlines of Mosul, Iraq, and leading injured veterans on expeditions to Nepal, the South Pole, and more as part of No Barriers Warriors, a program he cofounded.

The exhibit hall will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Check out the interactive map. Look for JAAPA at booth 1201 and join us on Tuesday, May 22, when podcast hosts Kristopher R. Maday, MS, PA-C, and Adrian S. Banning, MMS, PA-C, will be recording live. Post on Facebook or Twitter during the conference (using #jaapanola in your post or tweet) for a chance to win a $100 gift card. One gift card will be given away on each day of the exhibit hall.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Jennifer M. Coombs, PhD, PA-C

I’ve attended every AAPA meeting that has been in New Orleans. Here’s some advice:

1. Take comfortable shoes. I’m a hiker and regular runner, and these conferences involve a lot of city walking. Fitbits and iPhone step trackers will be off the charts, even if you don’t log extra hours Cajun dancing.

2. Don’t plan on seeing anyone. Now with cell phones and apps for connecting, we’ve come to expect to be able to find each other. Being at the conference is like stepping back in time. You will text your location, call to describe your location, and finally you will see each other from one escalator to the other, one going up and the other going down. It will happen.

3. Get Uber or Lyft. If you've been resisting, now is the time to do it.

4. Take warm clothes. The conference materials advise you to pack layers or dress for cooler rooms. Don’t believe them. Dress for the Arctic.

5. Take food to the Challenge Bowl. Also sodas and refreshments. You might even want a sleeping bag. What I am saying is it can go very long… 

6. Plan and map your day using the AAPA app. Try to go to as many talks, activities, and events you can squeeze in. You’ll love some and be glad you attended.

7. Attend your alma mater’s alumni events. They are fun and a great way to network.

8. Peek into the House of Delegates. They'll let you sit in the back and observe.

9. Try to get out and sample some of the good food and music that New Orleans has to offer. Don’t just head down to Bourbon Street, which can be a bit too raunchy for some peoples’ tastes. Explore the rest of the French Quarter.

10. Eat the beignets at Café Du Monde and drink the coffee and chicory served in the traditional au lait manner. Then walk some more, and be glad you brought your comfortable shoes. See you there!

Jennifer M. Coombs is an assistant professor in the Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and may not reflect AAPA policies.

Monday, April 30, 2018

​Brian T. Maurer, PA-C

Since the advent of the widespread use of the electronic medical record (EMR) in clinical practice, we have been moving toward the concept of the medical home, a place that houses all of the salient medical data about an individual patient; in short, his or her entire medical history, ideally from conception through birth, growth, development, medical and surgical diagnoses and subsequent treatments, chronic conditions, current medications, lifestyle, sexual history, psychosocial issues, and general state of health—everything, as it were, from soup to nuts; the full Monty.

Advocates of the patient-centered medical home tout the desirability of having all of this information in a central repository, readily accessible, complete. Supposedly, such a system will drastically reduce duplication of services, reduce the likelihood of medical error, and subsequently cut the cost of medical care. Conceptually, it all sounds so good—too good, as the adage goes, to be true.

First, there is the expense for the initial outlay and implementation of the EMR system. Second, there is the need to periodically enter data updates at the point of care, something that requires additional time and effort for clinicians. Third, these systems actually limit patient access to providers—there are only so many hours in a day, and dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” can be quite tedious and time-consuming for the practicing clinician—with the upshot being that clinicians actually spend less time caring for the patient as more time is allotted to documenting the care of the patient.

This translates into a lack of timely access to medical care. The acutely ill patient is less inclined to wait 2 or 3 days for the first available appointment at the medical home. More likely than not, he or she will opt to visit one of the myriad urgent care centers, where care is readily available and easily accessible—which, of course, defeats the whole purpose of having a patient-centered medical home in the first place.

Presumably, documentation of these extracurricular medical encounters will eventually find its way back to the medical home—scattered sojourners tend to regroup at some point. And yet, it almost seems as though the entire system has become more fragmented, rather than less so.

An older friend of mine recently signed up with his primary care physician’s new concierge service. For $500/month, my friend enjoys carte blanche access to his physician, day or night; and should he fall ill, he can get a same-day appointment.

To my recollection, this is a throwback to the way my family accessed medical care when I was growing up. If one of us became ill, a call was placed to the family doctor; if necessary, we were given an appointment to be seen that day. Our family doctor knew all about us, despite the sparse notes he scribbled on the 5 by 7 cards in his tickler file. He practiced out of the same residential office for nearly 50 years.

These days, as nearly as I can surmise, those sorts of patient-centered medical homes are gone for good.

Brian T. Maurer has practiced general pediatrics for more than 30 years. He is the author of Patients Are a Virtue and blogs at The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and may not reflect AAPA policies.