Saturday, February 8, 2014

Weekly Whine: Acronyms

What's up with people who have like 4-5 acronyms listed after their name?

I was watching a CME lately, and one of the speakers literally had five acronyms after his name. What is the point of that other than to seem important? Plus, does anyone know what any of those acronyms actually stand for?

For example, one of them was FAPWCA, which I couldn't even figure out through googling.

14 comments:

  1. FAPWCA = Fellow of the American professional Wound Care Association

    http://www.apwca.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1491304

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  2. The number of letters that a person chooses to list after their name seems to be inversely proportionate to their actual competence, IME.

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  3. That's a "thing" with nurses. I'm not sure why.

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  4. One of the night nurses insists on answering the phone by listing all of her credentials after her name. I usually cut her off.

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  5. As a non-medical profession person, it strikes me that the acronym-listing thing is most prevalent with doctors. Just an observation. For me, as long as there is an MD or OD after their name, I don't really what other qualifications or certifications they claim to have. I sometimes find the doctors who have the fewest qualifications/certifications are the most open minded / view things the least myopically.

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  6. I'm always wondering just what to do with all of the acronyms I'll end up with. I have a MS, so depending on whom I email (potential mentor or faculty vs classmates/friends), I tack that on, but, if I'm emailing my MD classmates, I don't add it.

    And I'll have an MD/PhD at the end of it...I know one who uses the MD when he has MD related things to email about and a PhD when he has PhD related things to do, but when he needs to gently nudge faculty around or establish credentials, he uses the MD/PhD. All about the situation.

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  7. The CDC and other government agencies insist that people use their alphabet soup. And encourage them to get more.

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  8. It's a noctor ( midlevel) thing. Rarely will a physician (not "provider") use anything other than MD or DO, although PhD or FAxxx is acceptable

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  9. There are no circumstances under which I would ever want the first three letters after my name to be FAP.

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  10. I think the general rule should be the highest ranking credential (Doctorate > Masters > Bachelors) + whatever is relevant. Upper limit should be 2 (unless you managed to get an MD, JD, and PhD, in which case people will judge you anyway). The rest belong on a resume. The only time I want to see FAPWCA is at a wound care conference or applying for a wound care nursing job.

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  11. I volunteer at a hospital that has achieved Magnet status (nursing, for those not in the know) and I do a lot of clerical work associated with their CNE (clinical nurse education) documentation. The bulk of my job deals with the paper trail associated with documentation and evaluation of various workshops, lunch and learns, or anything that provides contact hours for recertification, and everything is standardized according to the ONA. Whenever written proposals are presented on the ONA forms, all credentials are listed from bachelors to masters, to doctorate, to fellowship in a national organization, to specialty certifications. A high ranking administrative nurse could be PhD, MSN, BSN, RN-BC (add more letters if in a specific specialty), CNE.

    But yeah, unless you're initially applying for a job or applying to present a continuing education program, I don't see the need for the alphabet soup.

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  12. "Sheldon Cooper"......I forget all the letters he lists after his name!

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  13. To be nitpicky, but those aren't technically acronyms, they're initialisms. Acronyms are pronounced as if they were an actual word, like scuba.

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