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MedicinePower

Is there a general certification in emergency medicine other than the CAQ?

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As a soon-to-be PA hopefully going into emergency medicine I've been looking at various ED educational programs/boot camps, residencies, and the various certifications available. This all leads me to my question: does a general EM certification other than the CAQ exist? I ask as the CAQ seems to have some onerous requirements which might take a while to fulfill. Thank you.

 

Edit: Is this program beneficial at all? https://osteopathic.nova.edu/certificates/emergency-medicine-certificate.html

Edited by MedicinePower
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I think a post-graduate residency/fellowship is the best option to show proficiency to future employers. The CAQ seems like a good option, but it isn't made for new grads -- the requirements to sit for it means you have to have at least 3000 hours of EM experience as a PA (plus the CME and procedural requirements). This makes sense though since the CAQ is supposed to be an indicator of proficiency and experience in a given specialty -- it's not designed so that you can simply study and take the test without having the experience to back it up. 

The certificate program at Nova is something I hadn't heard of before, but I would be pretty skeptical about spending over $10,000 for it unless a residency is absolutely not an option. Would it be cheaper than the income lost by doing a residency? Yep. But will it prepare you for practice as well as a residency? Almost surely not.

While the didactic portion is an important part of doing a residency, its definitely not the primary focus -- you could do CME for that part. The real strength of residencies/fellowships is that you are staffing patients with EM docs or EMPAs that can critique your approach to different issues, provide feedback in real time, and provide graduated responsibility as you become more competent. Additionally, you get off-service rotations and procedural skills training (and robust procedure logs) that you won't get from a certificate program or bootcamp. However, the Nova EM certificate may be a decent trade-off if you simply couldn't do a fellowship and got a job in EM as a new grad.  

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1 hour ago, ProSpectre said:

I think a post-graduate residency/fellowship is the best option to show proficiency to future employers. The CAQ seems like a good option, but it isn't made for new grads -- the requirements to sit for it means you have to have at least 3000 hours of EM experience as a PA (plus the CME and procedural requirements). This makes sense though since the CAQ is supposed to be an indicator of proficiency and experience in a given specialty -- it's not designed so that you can simply study and take the test without having the experience to back it up. 

The certificate program at Nova is something I hadn't heard of before, but I would be pretty skeptical about spending over $10,000 for it unless a residency is absolutely not an option. Would it be cheaper than the income lost by doing a residency? Yep. But will it prepare you for practice as well as a residency? Almost surely not.

While the didactic portion is an important part of doing a residency, its definitely not the primary focus -- you could do CME for that part. The real strength of residencies/fellowships is that you are staffing patients with EM docs or EMPAs that can critique your approach to different issues, provide feedback in real time, and provide graduated responsibility as you become more competent. Additionally, you get off-service rotations and procedural skills training (and robust procedure logs) that you won't get from a certificate program or bootcamp. However, the Nova EM certificate may be a decent trade-off if you simply couldn't do a fellowship and got a job in EM as a new grad.  

I agree with all of this. I have been applying to residencies/fellowships but it seems my school graduates us a few months later than others which means I'll miss the July start and also not having taken the PANCE by that point. It's frustrating to need to wait a whole year to apply to/start residencies by which point I might be in a good job position with good money and good training and upward mobility.

 

I hope and plan to do the EM boot camp courses (pretty much all of them) as well as all the various certifications (ACLS, PALS, ATLS, AMLS, etc etc). The Nova course looks interesting but they haven't graduated any classes yet so there isn't any data on how helpful it has been.

Might you have other advice in the scenario where I'm not able to do a residency yet still plan on the boot camp + certs?

Edited by MedicinePower
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I'm a huge fan of education and gaining knowledge, but I caution you on overdoing it. If you have a job lined up that wants certain things, great. However, spending a bunch money on certs, just to get certs may not be the best way forward. 

When I started in EM, I was sent to the Advanced Bootcamp before starting and they did a fair amount of training in the first year. One of the challenges I had was that I learned a ton at the bootcamp, but I did not have they ability to apply it actively. I felt that had I had some experience under my belt, I would have been able to assimilate the information much better. I still learned a ton and it definitely helped, don't get me wrong. 

The point here is that other than the required tickets, BLS/ACLS/PALS and a bootcamp course, I think you're going to hit a deminishing return pretty quickly with the additional classes. 

I feel you on the residency challenge. My program also graduated just late enough to make many of them difficult if not impossible to make happen. However, there are some that start in the fall and I did interview at two (Albany and Hopkins). Life took me elsewhere and didn't get into either, but I was geographically constrained and those where the two I could make work. In the end, it has worked out well. Would a residency helped with my procedural skills, yes. However, had I ended up in the same region, it wouldn't have changed my day-to-day much. That being said, I'm still a huge fan of EM residencies in general. 

Just my two cents... I appreciate your enthusiasm, and have been exactly where you are right now. I wish you all the best! 

 

 

Edited by GreatChecko

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19 hours ago, MedicinePower said:

Might you have other advice in the scenario where I'm not able to do a residency yet still plan on the boot camp + certs?

Join SEMPA and network at SEMPA 360. If you're really interested in a residency, you'll have the chance to meet multiple program directors at SEMPA 360.

sempa.org 

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There is some disagreement on this, but last year at SEMPA I asked all the recruiters how much they valued the CAQ and not a single one even knew what the CAQ was.  They did recognize the "merit badge" courses like ACLS, PALS, & BLS.  The ones which seemed to differentiate folks were ATLS and especially ultrasound.  Talk to the recruiters - see what's available.  Often, they'll know of positions that aren't advertised on web sites.

You just need to find a decent 1st job where you'll learn.  After 3-5 years you're considered an experienced EM PA and the job market improves significantly.

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3 hours ago, ohiovolffemtp said:

There is some disagreement on this, but last year at SEMPA I asked all the recruiters how much they valued the CAQ and not a single one even knew what the CAQ was.  They did recognize the "merit badge" courses like ACLS, PALS, & BLS.  The ones which seemed to differentiate folks were ATLS and especially ultrasound.  Talk to the recruiters - see what's available.  Often, they'll know of positions that aren't advertised on web sites.

You just need to find a decent 1st job where you'll learn.  After 3-5 years you're considered an experienced EM PA and the job market improves significantly.

This. 

A trip to SEMPA to speak with recruiters directly is probably the best way to break into EM if you are flexible on location. 

Im working through the CAQ right now. I see it more of a personal challenge than anything else. I've learned a few things while studying and it might serve me in the future. Short of reimbursement from my employer, I don't see it affecting my day to day EM life very much. 

That being said, it is about experience and certs to make it through the recruiter filter. Many don't know much about medicine and "merit badges" sometimes go a long way to get their attention. Thus, why some, including myself, see the CAQ as valuable. 

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