What is TAPA?

The Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) is a thriving group of almost 2,800 Physician Assistants and students from all across the Lone Star State. TAPA was established as a non-profit organization in February, 1975 by a few physician assistants who functioned under the delegatory privileges of physicians provided in the Medical Practice Act.      

Mission Statement
The Texas Academy of Physician Assistants is the leading PA organization in Texas that serves the profession through professional development, education, representation, legislative advocacy, and a commitment to team-based care.

Vision
Improving the health of all Texans by leading the future of the PA profession.

Goals
•    Professional Development
      To develop, sponsor and evaluate continuing medical education programs for physician assistants and to provide
       opportunities, activities, and programs that facilitate the professional development of PAs.

•    Representation of PAs
     To sponsor and promote regulatory and legislative changes which will enhance the ability of the physician assistant to
      provide safe, cost-effective medical care

•    Promotion of the Profession
     To serve as the principle public information center for the PA profession in Texas.

•    Team-Based Care
      To enhance and strengthen the concept of the physician-PA team in order to strengthen the practice of team-based health
       care in Texas.

TAPA History
The Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) was established as a non-profit organization in February, 1975 by a few physician assistants who functioned under the delegatory privileges of physicians provided in the Medical Practice Act. The formation of TAPA was in response to the increasing number of graduate PAs and recurrent questions about PAs' right to practice. These first Texas PAs organized TAPA and developed the first PA rules and regulations with the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

TAPA is now a fully chartered constituent chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and has been recognized as the inclusive organization most representative of the physician assistants in the state. TAPA provides leadership both nationally and statewide.

Since 1975, TAPA has worked to improve PA practice in Texas:

- 1979     First law recognizing PAs in Texas

- 1981     Creation of the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

- 1989     Omnibus Health Care Rescue Act, HB 18 which enables PAs to work under direct supervision and prescribe under protocol

- 1993     Physician Assistant Licensing Act, HB 2498 which creates a PA advisory council and establishes licensure. See section on licensure for more information.

- 1995     SB 673, allows physician delegated prescriptive practice to Texas PAs and advanced practice nurses, for PAs to declare death, to sign for samples. Also, created Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners and required NCCPA certification for licensure.

- 1997     Extension of required physician visits to a rural health clinic from seven to ten working days; requirement a physician assistant be designated as a provider in a managed care plan; statutory requirements that all initial, new licensees as a physician assistant be a graduate of an AMA-CAHEP PA program and have a current NCCPA certification; and physician assistants can be recognized as quality assurance officers in managed care plans.

- 1998     New Texas Medicaid rule changing current supervision language to model Texas statute on PA supervision. Also, physician assistants gained the ability to sign cosmetology certificates of health.
TAPA is committed to working with AMA accredited PA programs and their students by providing scholarships and encouraging them to become active in promoting the PA profession.

TAPA has grown from a membership of 30 to over 2,700 physician assistants.

If you have any information you would like to see posted in this section, please contact the Executive Offices at (800) 280-7655 or email Kristina Haley, TAPA Membership Coordinator.