The original title of the profession was Anaesthesia Practitioner (2003), the title was subsequently changed to Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) [PA(A)] in 2008. The reasons for the change were; other healthcare professionals used the title of Anaesthesia Practitioner, it brought the profession into alignment with the then Physician Assistants with a view that a degree of harmonisation would facilitate statutory regulation.
Over time PA(A)s became the only profession working at a senior clinical level to use the prefix of Physicians’ Assistant in the UK. The title of Physician’s Assistant is also used by many Trusts to describe healthcare workers typically working at bands 2-4 on Agenda for Change, supporting doctors, in administrative roles and basic clinical duties.
PA(A)s as a group have felt for some time that the title was no longer appropriate and considered the most suitable time to amend it. As statutory regulation approaches, it was felt now was the time to amend our title to a more appropriate one.
We are due to be regulated under the overarching title of ‘Medical Associate Professions’ (MAPs). We believe a title which includes the speciality, with which we are allied, ‘Anaesthesia’ and the ‘Associate’ aspect of MAPs will be helpful in broader recognition by patients and professionals.