To NCCPA From a PA in Washington

Thank you for including me on the survey and follow-up comments. I’m not a member of AAPA and this is one of the reasons for that. The organizations of NCCPA and AAPA seem to have what the military calls ‘mission drift’ and they are beginning to show signs that they’re becoming more profit-based and less customer oriented. The frequency of recertification at six years was much too often, and 10 years is still too frequent, based on the test itself supposedly being proof of clinical competency. This is ridiculous. The test has a very high pass rate and is so generalized any PA could be certified and be considered competent in any practice area.

The cost of this certification is too high for something that is virtually worthless in this respect. If you had individual specialty tests that were designed to test knowledge in the test taker’s specialty, then you might have something of value. Now, both organizations are coming up with new requirements for CME that will be impossible to accomplish for many, especially those who work in rural areas or, in my case, a small military clinic with low throughput. I have no means to do Performance Improvement with a group of clinicians who are expected to drop what they are doing and help me get my CME requirements for the cycle. Self-Assessment hours are also a difficult sell. The odd coincidence that strikes my peers and me is that you have instituted requirements that you happen to provide (at a cost, of course).

Please stop playing with ideas for what I have to assume is not even the career field of many of you who decide. If you want to establish a valid certification exam, then do that. You’d use less energy than trying to make a more circuitous route to the same outcome. CME is fine the way it is. Leave it alone.