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International Recognition


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With all the talk about moving forward with OTP and making sure PAs are able to practice to the top of their license in our country, what are everyone’s thought about international recognition for PAs? I know a few countries (England, Australia and ?Norway?) have begun their own PA profession, but do you see US PAs being able to use their license in other countries at some point (like other European countries)? Not just for short term type trips, but in more of a permanent capacity?

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9 hours ago, ak004 said:

 

With all the talk about moving forward with OTP and making sure PAs are able to practice to the top of their license in our country, what are everyone’s thought about international recognition for PAs? I know a few countries (England, Australia and ?Norway?) have begun their own PA profession, but do you see US PAs being able to use their license in other countries at some point (like other European countries)? Not just for short term type trips, but in more of a permanent capacity?

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it does not look promising. I entered the PA field in 1981 for the precise reason of working in the developing world. I was able to slip in under the radar for a few years, (Oman, UAE, Pakistan twice, Egypt, Cyprus, Nepal) but then things got worse for PA abroad, except for those countries that you listed. It is complicated but much of it is political and cultural. In most countries you are either an all-knowing doctor or a nurse who helps the doctor and being a PA is meaningless. The other problem is, since the US does not recognize foreign trained doctors (for example many of our language  interpreters at Mayo  Clinic were doctors in their home country) other countries are not open to having US trained anything, especially PAs, working in their countries, even the really poor and needy countries. Now, that is not to say that you can't find a job in almost any country, but those are usually US entities, such as State Department or Peace Corp. But in those situations you will be caring for Americans, not nationals.

I know that UAE started their own PA program and I applied to be an instructor and never heard back. About 10 years ago the AAPA had a task force on introducing  the PA profession internationally. I don't know where that stands now. I did everything in my power to be part of that. I went and met with the key person in charge (an unnamed PA program director). I called her, wrote her, emailed her, and begged her to allow me to be part of that on my own time and dime (pay my own airfare overseas). She never responded to me once after I met with her and told her of my deep interest in this issue. Eventually they treated me like some kind of deranged stalker. 

Maybe someone here knows something new as I've been out of the loop for a few years.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A little late getting in here, but in Canada, there is a weird, one way certification reciprocity for PA's here - if you were trained and certified in the US, you can usually apply for jobs here (in most places - sometimes they'll limit to those trained locally due to funding for those grads).  As it stands though, it's a South=>North thing  that was done when our national association was looking to boost numbers from ex-pats trained and practicing in the US.  Most jobs that are not tied to new grad funding mandates list as certification requirement "completed a PA program recognized by PACCC or NCCPA" or words to that effect.

 

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