To NCCPA from a PA in Texas

I’ve been pretty vocal on NCCPA’s Facebook page about the new testing proposal. But since you have asked for a formal email expressing our discontent and likely would not use comments from Facebook as public opinions (which you have asked for until June 15), here goes.

The data you cite where PAs are asking for a change came from a biased survey. This was followed by another biased survey essentially asking how you would like to be executed – a gun or a rope. Your surveys were faulty and no one will own up to it.

What PAs have asked for a change? Surely you can see from the responses, the majority of PAs who monitor the Facebook feeds do NOT want a change. The percentage of respondents you cite – where did they come from? The first faulty survey?

You have contradicted yourself in your responses. You want to “break away” from general broad spectrum medicine testing, but then go on to say you want to “preserve the generalist nature of the credential.” You can’t have it both ways. Either you want to break from the general broad spectrum or you don’t. With testing requirements changing three times within the past 5 years, I am not sure YOU know what you want.

From your website –

New PANRE Model Being Explored:

“Seismic Shift” or Relevant Recertification?

The “seismic shift” has already occurred.”

The so-called shift has already occurred. Now to us (actual practicing PAs) it appears you are just delaying implementation with some bogus survey to justify your changes.

Evolving is fine. How about we evolve into what physicians want us to be? Any input from AMA or any of the hundreds of other physician organizations regarding this change? I have asked before but there has been no response with sources posted that I can find. If we are supposed to be an extension of the MD/DO we work with, then why not test like them? What other medical profession has take-home exams on top of recertification testing AND CME? Speaking of CME, who else has ridiculous CME requirements like this:

“During each of those two-year cycles, you must earn and log at least 100 CME credits, including at least 50 Category 1 CME credits. Also — new in the 10-year certification maintenance cycle — 20 of the 50 Category 1 CME credits must be earned through self-assessment CME and/or performance improvement CME (PI-CME). By the end of the first four two-year CME cycles, you must have earned a total of at least 40 Category 1 CME credits through PI activities and 40 Category 1 CME credits through SA activities.

The remaining 50 credits can be Category 1, Category 2 or a combination of both.”

I showed those CE requirements to the physician I work with and his reply was, “maybe I DID make the better decision to go to med school instead of PA school.” How confusing is this? Doesn’t anyone with NCCPA see this?

Since the topic of changing the PANRE has faded through recent posts, I thought the recent legislation that Oklahoma recently passed essentially freeing physicians from ABMS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) was particularly relevant. Those physicians’ complaint mirrors those PAs who also oppose frequent re-testing. Our complaints aren’t against NCCPA and the subspecialty CAQs. They can do what they want and require what they want of those that wish to participate. I cannot change that. And it appears nobody else can either. Our complaint is with being forced to participate in an ever-changing process with an ever increasing CME requirement. NCCPA claims the CAQ is voluntary but now it is being incorporated into the PANRE. Say what you will about this being voluntary, I disagree. I, along with many other PAs and PA professional organizations, contend that we should be free to care for our patients, free to pursue novel clinical research, and free to choose our own continuing education.  If the NCCPA and the CAQ boards are providing a quality educational product at a good value, PAs should be free to participate, if they want. If PAs don’t see any value in pursuing these, then they should be free to pursue education elsewhere without fear of losing their jobs, hospital privileges, or ability to practice.

If you cannot see how flawed your own surveys were and at least admit it to those of us who give a damn, then this discussion is over. As is my “-C”. Fortunately, I don’t ever plan on leaving Texas and the -C isn’t required. My plan going forward is to pay my dues, do my CE and go about my business without NCCPA’s consistent interference.