Members Vote for Open Discussion About Controversial Recertification Proposal

Following months of public discourse around the issue of revising the recertification exam for PAs, members at the Forum’s business meeting officially voted to take a step back before taking any action and urge the four organizations involved to conduct a “transparent and evidence-based dialogue on the potential impacts on the PA profession (both positive and negative) of any changes to certification or recertification.”

They also voted to suspend any additional activity leading to the development of a new, and competing, certification body — the route called for by AAPA. This move by AAPA came after the NCCPA announced that it was planning to revise the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) to put a greater focus on specialties, saying this would “better reflect the current state of PA practice in which more than 70% of PAs are practicing outside of primary care.“

“We are not siding with AAPA or NCCPA,” said PAEA President Elect William Kohlhepp. “We are on the side of transparent, evidence-based dialogue with the Four Orgs.” The “Four Orgs” being PAEA, AAPA, NCCPA, and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the organization responsible for accrediting PA programs.

Kohlhepp said that PAEA felt it needed to bring forward a formal motion so membership could speak to this issue. The vote, held during the Education Forum in Minneapolis last week, follows a resolution calling for an open discussion issued by PAEA earlier this month.