New program allows PAs to showcase expertise in their specialty
JOHNS CREEK, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is proud to announce the launch of its Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) program for certified physician assistants (PAs) practicing in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nephrology, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Psychiatry.
“As the only nationally recognized certifying organization for PAs, NCCPA is committed to providing credentials that address our responsibility to the public, as well as the needs and concerns of the PA profession,” said Janet J. Lathrop, MBA, president and CEO, NCCPA. “The first of its kind, the voluntary CAQ program allows certified PAs to document their expertise in their specialty area of practice.”
By earning a CAQ, PAs can build on their NCCPA generalist certification, a basic prerequisite for the CAQ program. In addition, 66 percent of physicians agree that a CAQ is a valuable credential for certified PAs, according to a survey conducted by The Bantam Group in 2011.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports the nation could face a shortage of up to 150,000 physicians in the next 15 years. PAs are certified and licensed health care professionals practicing medicine as part of a health care team led by a physician. Thus, PAs are positioned to help bridge this anticipated workforce shortage.
“I’ve been a PA for a long time and would like to move to a fast track in emergency medicine. I think [the CAQ will] help me when I’m applying for a position,” said Randy C., a certified PA from California. “It’s not just an exam – its education and experience, too.”
Obtaining a CAQ is no small feat; certified PAs must meet licensure, education, experience and exam requirements. The first CAQ exams will be administered in September 2011. For information, please visit www.nccpa.net.
About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only recognized credentialing organization for physician assistants in the United States. Since its inception as a not-for-profit organization in 1975, more than 86,000 physician assistants have been certified by NCCPA. In addition to its CAQ program, NCCPA also administers initial and recertifying exams, and has an established program for maintenance of certification.
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