Why belong to a constituent organization, which one, who cares? I have been a PA for 16 years and have been an AAPA member the entire time. I was an Air Force PA for 11 years and was a Society of AF PA member the entire time. I was a Texas privately employed PA for one year and was a TAPA member the entire time. I've been a VA PA since 2008 and have been a VAPAA member the entire time. For those doing the math, I took a year off to "find myself", but that's another story;-) I work in ENT so I could be a member of the ENT PA association. I have worked in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine so I could be members of both of those PA organizations. For a time I was a member of the Bexar County PA Association. As you can see this can get very confusing and extremely expensive.
Today I belong to AAPA and VAPAA. The reason for me is simple! , These two organizations can and do have a direct impact on my current professional status. As VA PAs we are governed by Federal Supremacy and state organizations don't impact our practice in the VA. VAPAA is the ONLY professional PA organization that has the sole responsibility to represent VA PA practice interests and to lobby for VA PAs on Capitol hill and with VACO. AAPA drives what happens to the profession at the national level and they also fully support VAPAAs legislative and practice agendas.
Belonging to your state constituent organizations is good if you work outside the VA because they lobby at the state level which impacts you outside the VA.
Declaring your primary constituent organization effects it's representation in the AAPA House of Delegates. Meaning, the more PAs that are VAPAA members and declare VAPAA as their primary constituent organization the more HOD seats VAPAA gets.
As I have said before and still hold to, there is power in numbers. The VA is the single largest employer of PAs! Imagine the impact VAPAA could have if every current and retired VA PA were a member. Our current membership is at about 18.5%. That's up from less than 16% about one year ago. THANK YOU to all our past, present and future members. Membership is very reasonable; 21 cents a day($75 a year), and it's 100% tax deductible. I don't know about you, but I probably drop 21 cents a day between my car seats:-)
Please consider becoming a VAPAA member and please declare VAPAA as your primary constituent organization if you belong to VAPAA and others.
Thank you and best wishes,
Jim Cavanaugh, MPAS, PA-C