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"Physician Associate" or "Physician Collaborator"

22 May 2014 8:08 AM | Blaine Carmichael

I want to express my opposition to using “collaborative: to define our relationship with physicians. When I say to the pt, I am working in collaboration with Dr X, which I do on occasion to test their response, I usually hear something to the effect “What does that mean?” Is the doctor a Nazi?” When I say, “I work in Association with Dr X” The response is, something like, “OK”

I  support “in association with” rather than “in collaboration with” as our working relationship description with physicians. Here are some of the other reasons I do not like the word “collaboration” to describe the PA/Physician relationship.

To cooperate as a traitor, esp. with an enemy occupying one's own country.

To give help to an enemy who has invaded your country during a war.

He was suspected of collaborating with the occupying army.

Trials for war crimes, collaboration, and genocide continued in several countries for many years after the war.

Any cooperation with Israel would be seen by many Palestinians as collaboration with the enemy.

The betrayal of others by working with an enemy.

Since the Second World War the term "Collaboration" acquired a very negative meaning as referring to persons and groups working with the enemy.

The more specific term Collaborationism is often used for this phenomenon of collaboration with an enemy. However, there is no water-tight distinction; "Collaboration" and "Collaborator", as well as "Collaborationism" and "Collaborationist", are often used in this pejorative sense.

The term collaborate dates from 1871, and is a back-formation from collaborator (1802), from the French collaborateur as used during the Napoleonic Wars against smugglers trading with England and assisting in the escape of monarchists, and is itself derived from the Latin collaboratus, past participle of collaborare "work with", from com- "with" + labore "to work." The meaning of "traitorous cooperation with the enemy” dates from 1940, originally in reference to the Vichy Government of Frenchmen who cooperated with the Germans, 1940-44.

Collaboration, to conspire, cooperate, collude, fraternize “He was accused of having collaborated with the secret police.”

Warm Regards

Blaine P. Carmichael, PA-C. MPAS, DFAAPA

President Elect, BCPAS

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