The PSPA Board of Directors conducted a survey of all PA’s in the commonwealth on the NCCPA’s proposed changes to recertification and report the following results.
In November 2015, the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) made public its proposal to change the Physician Assistant (PA) recertification process. In April 2016, the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) surveyed physician assistants in the commonwealth to get a consensus of the opinions PAs in our state have in reference to the NCCPA’s proposed changes.
The survey was sent out to 6,254 PAs, while 2,425 opened the survey, only 545 completed the survey. The demographics of the respondents established 45% had under 10 years of practice, 19% with 10-20 years of practice and the remaining 36% with over 20 years of practice. The majority of all respondents were aware of the NCCPA proposed changes.
All participants raised concerns associated with PI-CME and Self-Assessment CME included employer support and available opportunities. Over 81% were concerned with the amount of time and cost to complete both. In addition to this reported response, there were numerous recurring comments about both the time and effort involved with PI-CME and Self-Assessment CME in the commentary area provided at the end of the survey.
54% of the total respondents are still on the 6-year recertification cycle. The remaining 46% are on the 10-year cycle, of these, only 14% have completed a Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education project (PI-CME). Within the commentary section, trending apprehensions were presented from those on the 10-year cycle are concerned with new changes that have been proposed being taxing to the process, in addition to time and cost, 67% of respondents were not in favor of 2-4 take home exams in a 10-year cycle.
Only 14% of the respondents are in favor of NCCPA’s proposal, while 86% are not in favor of the proposed change to the PA recertification process. The survey also reflected 31% are not in favor of ongoing recertifying examinations.
Respectively submitted, Cathy Gillespie
Catherine Gillespie, DHSc, PA-C
President, Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants