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Proposed changes to PANRE and CAQ

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I am interested in folks thoughts about the NCCPA's proposed changes to PANRE (essentially Pathway II) and required CAQ exam?

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Too nebulous at this time.

No details released and no timeline of implementation.

I want to SEE the questions and home tests and evaluate the questions before rendering an opinion.

I would like to know who is writing and reviewing the tests and if they actually reflect real life or supposed book rules that don't exist in reality.

I have to test again next year - not looking forward to it or the new CME changes.

 

Nothing is reflecting real life practice.

 

My very old 2 cents

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In trying to read the NCCPA newsletter and what was proposed, and then following the subsequent discussion on the AAPA Huddle....I still can't make sense of what some of the details are.  From trying to decipher it, what I glean is that a take-home generalist test would be required, then a proctored speciality exam would also be required.  There's also nothing solid about what one would have to do for CME, although suspicion is that the PI and SA-CME stuff would go away.  If this is true, I'm not in favor of it, and it sounds like most folks aren't either.  For that matter, the AAPA president himself is not a fan of it either.

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Maybe it's just a conspiracy to confuse us all, and in the end we will just throw up our hands and say "Whatever"!

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I don't agree with it either. Not only is it now TWO steps exam wise, but what about the following scenarios regarding this specialty exam that will be required : 1) Someone out of practice for a couple of years when it's time to re-certify, what exam would they take? 2) What if you just changed specialities when you have to re-certify and have not yet been in that specialty? There is usually a lot of on the job learning for subspecialties. (I have been in ortho spine, neurosurg, and now general surgery that also includes surg onc and trauma in my almost 6 years as a PA.) 3) What if you change specialties 1 month after taking that exam? Then it means nothing! 4) As many primary care PAs would tell you, the current exam uses TEXTBOOK info and does not necessarily reflect day to day practice therefore, they sometimes still have to study. How would this apply to the specialty exams? Would it be textbook answers or day to day practice, which VARIES between regions and even between practices! 5) What exam would highly specialized PAs take like I don't know say reproductive endocrinology? Would they take OBGYN, Endocrine?

 

I think it is them trying to push this CAQ as they have continued to try to push on us over and over again. How likely do you guys think it is that this actually becomes the new recert model?

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The two most common ideas I see suggested for PANRE reform are specialty exams in place of a general exam and the reinstatement of pathway II.  People even state they *enjoyed* pathway II because they felt they learned something by looking up answers and reading about topics they haven't touched in a while vs. having to cram for a do-or-die exam that isn't representative of their day to day practice.  I personally find it hilarious that there is such an uproar now that NCCPA listened to the point where they will include BOTH components, lol.  Is it a case of be careful what you wish for?

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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

I hope they come up with a CAQ for IM/PCP

 

Dawn Morton Rias said they intended to have CAQs for things like IM and family medicine.

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The two most common ideas I see suggested for PANRE reform are specialty exams in place of a general exam and the reinstatement of pathway II.  People even state they *enjoyed* pathway II because they felt they learned something by looking up answers and reading about topics they haven't touched in a while vs. having to cram for a do-or-die exam that isn't representative of their day to day practice.  I personally find it hilarious that there is such an uproar now that NCCPA listened to the point where they will include BOTH components, lol.  Is it a case of be careful what you wish for?

It isn't hilarious because the NCCPA didnt listen, otherwise they would not be mandating the generalist PANRE (even if it is pathway II).

PAs want to be tested in WHAT THEY DO, and they don't want restrictions to changing fields (in that order). 

The best case scenario is they have a specialty specific exam for all PAs, and those who wish to transition fields can OPT to take the general PANRE. 

 

But, as was said above, 2 exam fees is better than 1 for NCCPA.

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I did Pathway II when it still existed. I actually enjoyed it and learned stuff.

 

I had 5 or 6 classmates doing it as well. We set up email communications - many years ago when email was still cool......

 

We would do 10 or 20 questions and cite our sources and group email them to each other and compare. It was interesting to find the discrepancies between the ACS, USPTF and all the board organizations.

 

It was more real life to me - just like chatting back and forth between our offices about what to do with a certain patient. Open conversation and feedback with looking up sources, etc.

 

I look forward to it again. Going to Pearson and being nearly strip searched and under camera surveillance and providing 2 forms of ID and asking permission to go potty ----- hmmmm, no thanks. It wasn't that much fun at Sylvan Learning Center either.

 

We could go back to the days of sitting in an auditorium with our #2 pencils and the chess timer at the front of the class.............

 

I just wish there was a timeline and more detailed info on this whole endeavor.

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Well, I'll just state the obvious that a take home exam sounds a lot more stress free than the PANRE

A take home exam that doesn't test the content of my practice doesn't sound any more appealing than a sit down exam that doesn't test the content of my practice.

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I would be curious to see the FP Board exam for physicians and see what questions it asks and how it compares to what I have been asked on PANRE.

 

Same for any other specialty - Urology, Ortho, Gen Surg, etc.

 

There will always be outliers who just don't fit into any one category -  both physician and PA.

 

I have to test next year - no hope for a change before then - dang it. I will have to plow through the review books and unlearn what I know day to day and regurg the junk in the books..... so much fun to have to be clinically schizophrenic....................

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A take home exam that doesn't test the content of my practice doesn't sound any more appealing than a sit down exam that doesn't test the content of my practice.

 

All things being equal, a take home exam is more stress free than a sit down exam in a Pearson testing center. 

 

The issue of whether or not PANRE is appropriate for folks who have gone into specialties such as CT surgery is a separate issue entirely

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I would rather bang out a test at pearson in 3 hrs and be done for 10 years than try to fit in time at home for a test that will be open book and therefore curved much higher....know why they got rid of the old pathway 2? lots of folks failed it...

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All things being equal, a take home exam is more stress free than a sit down exam in a Pearson testing center. 

 

The issue of whether or not PANRE is appropriate for folks who have gone into specialties such as CT surgery is a separate issue entirely

It's actually not

You can't discuss something as a cornerstone of the MOC process without considering ALL PAs.

Any plan to enact a mandatory exam for all PAs needs to consider if it is a useful tool in evaluating all PAs core knowledge

 

It's just as ludicrous as asking a all the primary care PAs to take a MANDATORY recert exam in CT surgery.....

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I would definitely fail a recent exam in CT surgery.  I wouldn't even know where to begin studying for such an exam. 

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I agree with EMEDPA and would rather bang it out in a few hours and be done. Even having been specialized for almost 6 years, CME resources was all I needed to pass with flying colors. For those who say that they would rather do a take home exam...umm you still have to take a proctored exam as well if you read the proposed changes. Therefore, it's two exams not just one like it is now!

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I agree with EMEDPA and would rather bang it out in a few hours and be done. Even having been specialized for almost 6 years, CME resources was all I needed to pass with flying colors. For those who say that they would rather do a take home exam...umm you still have to take a proctored exam as well if you read the proposed changes. Therefore, it's two exams not just one like it is now!

I would rather a specialty specific take home (or sit down) exam and that's it.

The problem is not so much pathway I vs II but rather the irrelevancy of the general PANRE to so many specialty PAs.

 

I'll say again.....how would any of you PAs in "generalist" fields or those who want to maintain certification in "general knowledge" feel about taking a specialty exam in CT surgery or ortho. Doesn't feel very useful, does it?

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Apparently you guys got a different e-mail than I did or my reading comprehension skills are lacking, but nothing about what I'm reading makes me believe the CAQ test is required... it seems like PANRE is simply changing to a take-home format, which I am certainly 100% in support of, and people who either wish to obtain or REtain a CAQ certification will have the option to do so by taking a traditionally proctored exam at a designated testing site.

 

"Like today, all PAs who successfully complete the recertification process would be awarded the same generalist PA-C credential, and those earning a CAQ would have that additional, specialty-related credential."

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It is (perhaps deliberately) vaguely worded in the initial communication but implies that everyone would have to take a proctored specialty exam in addition to the take home exam.  If you do well enough, then you get the CAQ.  The fact  that they spell out remediation consequences for the specialty exam support that understanding.  At present, if you don't qualify for the CAQ the only remediation is that which you impose upon yourself.  The two required exam scenario is clearly the understanding of the AAPA as voiced in Katz's  rebuttal.  They explain it in more detail here:  https://www.nccpa.net/panre-model 

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