The policy of the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA) is that physician assistants should only be referred to by the title “physician assistant” or the common abbreviation PA. In the case of an emergency medicine physician assistant, the abbreviation EMPA is also acceptable.
SEMPA opposes the use of terminology such as mid-level provider, physician extender, physician’s assistant, and non-physician provider when referring to a physician assistant.
SEMPA is also opposed to the routine practice of melding terminology when referencing physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, etc.). SEMPA believes these professions are distinct and unique and use of a single term to reference both is incorrect, misleading, and confusing.
SEMPA understands that physician assistants may, at times, be referred to by a single collective term representing non-physician professional health care providers. SEMPA recognizes “advanced practice provider” as the appropriate term in this instance.