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The SDPA’s Response to the NCCPA’s Recent PANRE Update

September 27, 2016


To the NCCPA Board of Directors:

In response to the NCCPA’s recent revision of the proposed model for a new PANRE, the SDPA respectfully submits the following official response and comments to the NCCPA Board of Directors.

1.) The current proposal to include a capstone ‘core medical knowledge’ exam at the culmination of each recertification cycle is certainly an improvement upon the initial proposal and recognizes that there is a common knowledge base across all specialties of practice. A ‘core medical knowledge’ examination will allow for continued mobility within the PA profession and potentially ease the burden of exam preparation to some extent. Although the current suggestions for recertification represent significant progress in the dialogue between specialty organizations and NCCPA, the SDPA remains firm in our stance regarding the need for evidence that high-stakes examinations of any sort relate to better patient outcomes and satisfaction. The SDPA Board of Directors encourages NCCPA to consider alternative, evidence-based approaches to ensure that PAs engage in meaningful learning of ‘core medical knowledge’ and specialty related knowledge during the recertification process that will translate to improved patient care.

2.) The SDPA Board of Directors is supportive of the NCCPA initiative to integrate practice or specialty related education into the recertification process. We are confident that most PAs are currently operating under this model and choose to focus their CME activities around knowledge and skills that are relative to their day to day practice. A model in which a directed percentage of CME hours for recertification are dedicated to one’s specialty is reasonable and preferred. However, it is important for the NCCPA to consider the implications of this process on PAs who utilize their mobility between specialties for personal or professional reasons during the certification maintenance cycle.

The PA profession continues to evolve with the rapidly changing field of medicine, and it is important to note that we have made great strides in professional and public acceptance of our role in clinical practice. It is vital for all PA professional organizations and the NCCPA to continue constructive dialogue as we work to build the future of our profession. The SDPA remains committed to an educational process for our members that will allow us to best serve our patients and communities.

Jennifer Conner, MPAS, PA-C
SDPA President