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CAQ's from a PA-S viewpoint


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#41 Paula



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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:15 PM

^^^^ Exactly.  PAs have core competency standards too and are similar to the ones you listed.  The medical professions start to blur into one.

#42 christopherjmu



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Posted 10 November 2016 - 04:19 PM

While I think there are some PAs whom think CAQs are just another NCCPA grab for $$, the reality is that there does need to be a confirmation of skills and experience in specialty practice. The CAQ helps address this. New grads may benefit from residency in the future but those of us whom have been toiling away in specific specialties for decades are under or may be under pressure to actually prove we know what we are doing regardless of our everyday performance. I actually know Greg from the NCCPA and have talked with him at length about the CAQ process. Not only is he a good guy, he makes a very necessar and coherent argument that the CAQ is a necessary step in a PA's career. This is driven in part by national physician specialist organizations wanting some sort of standard put in place due to the initial general training PAs undergo without any follow through residencies or fellowships but instead years to decades of OTJ training. It also helps those of us whom have a certificate (myself) or BS in physician assistant studies to differentiate from the masters level PA being made now and cements our professionalism.


The above quoted article is a great example of where PAs can make a difference in a specialty that is in dire need of help. At my community hospital we have a psychiatrist that visits once every several weeks, is booked solid for months out and does not take call nor contribute much to the care of the acute psychiatric patient either in the attached clinic or the ED. This tepid support and presence from the psychiatric community is a shame but could be alleviated by PAs trained in psychiatry and the psychiatry CAQ can serve as a benchmark to strive for to ensure quality of care.


Whether this designation gets you more money or prestige or closer parking space is moot. We live in a time where the public wants and demands credentialing. Anyone who naysays is in danger of being left behind sooner or later. Personally, when I got the CAQ in EM, there was a perceptible appreciation from the medical staff and the hospital that I chose to get a designation that no one forced me to but did because I thought it was the proper thing to do as the senior PA here. The bottom line is that many long practicing PAs in certain specialties have plenty of hours to qualify, have done the procedures listed and can likely pass the exam with a bit of self directed study. The issue is the cost, about $300. Have your employer pay it or use CME funds if that will break the bank, thats what you negotiated for.


G Brothers PA-C

The article is humorous . I'm a psychiatry PA and also work in a Urgent Care. I just finished my CAQ test for psychiatry.  The doctor that said PA's will always be reliant on a physician has never seen where I work apparently.  I work without supervision at both jobs.  If I need advice regarding a difficult patient, then I consult one, just like they do with one another.

#43 sillycibin



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Posted 28 November 2016 - 11:51 PM

CAQs are terrible ideas.  Once they get a foothold, hospitals will require you to have your CAQ to practice in that area.  My hospital requires me to maintain my NCCPA certification.  Why?  Because it exists.  It isn't to practice medicine, because North Carolina does not require me to maintain it.

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