My main concern is that we just barely implemented a new 10-year certification maintenance process that was said to allow us to be more in line with the way physicians are doing their certification maintenance. I am just completing the old PANRE model and beginning the new 10-year cycle. Now we have to think about changing it all over again. I would rather have us keep the new model which is already in place and look for ways to improve it. This model can be used to meet the needs of PAs and patients in a variety of ways:
1. A PA can choose self-assessment activities which are relevant to their current practice, whatever it may be. That allows for some flexibility to those who wish to change jobs.
2. It allows for QI projects that will improve the care provided to patients.
3. It allows for periodic testing of the general fund of knowledge of all PA’s every 10 years.
4. It preserves some flexibility so that PAs can do CME that is interesting to them.
One way to improve the model would be to expand the number of specialty exams available. You can still have a certain percentage of questions be generalist in nature, but have the majority related to that specialty. I really think the CAQ process should be separate as only a certain percentage of PA’s will want to pursue this.
It seems like we have not given this new model a chance to work before we are already trying to change it. This is very frustrating as a practicing PA because it feels like I am working against a moving target. Perhaps a more meaningful approach would be to allow for a full 10-year cycle to pass before making major changes to the current model. This would allow more time to study the issue, and provide data related to actual PA performance before making another major change.
I appreciate the support of the AAPA and hope my opinion will help.