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PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT F.A.Q. GUIDE

A PA is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional.

PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.

Source: www.aapa.org

PAs are vital to healthcare. The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010, recognized PAs for the first time as one of three primary care providers (PAs, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians). The law also empowered PAs to lead patient-centered medical teams. Team-based care is at the core of a PA’s training. PAs can practice autonomously or in a collaborative relationship with other members of a patient’s healthcare team. This combination is a major source of their strength.

PAs are experts in general medicine. They undergo rigorous medical training. PAs must take a test in general medicine in order to be licensed and certified. They must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass a certification exam. Like physicians and NPs, PAs must complete extensive continuing medical education throughout their careers.

PAs diagnose, treat and prescribe medicine. Thanks to an education modeled on the medical school curriculum, PAs learn to make life saving diagnostic and therapeutic decisions while working autonomously or in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. PAs are certified as medical generalists with a foundation in primary care. Over the course of their careers, many PAs practice in two or three specialty areas, giving them deep experience and the flexibility to meet the changing needs of their patients, employers and communities.

PAs are trusted healthcare providers. Studies have shown that when PAs practice to the full extent of their abilities and training, hospital readmission rates and lengths of stay decrease and infection rates go down. A Harris Poll found extremely high satisfaction rates among Americans who interact with PAs. The survey found that 93 percent regard PAs as trusted healthcare providers, 92 percent said that having a PA makes it easier to get a medical appointment and 91 percent believe that PAs improve the quality of healthcare.

PAs are in heavy demand. Three quarters of PAs receive multiple job offers upon passing their initial licensing and certification exams. Studies show that the most financially successful hospitals maximize their use of PAs. The PA profession has been named by several top media outlets, including Forbes and USA Today, as the most promising job in America. The demand for PAs increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, according to the healthcare search firm Merritt Hawkins. As of January 2016, there were more than 108,000 certified PAs nationwide who interact with patients upwards of 350 million times annually.

Source: www.aapa.org

A PA is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional. PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.

Step 1. Get prerequisites and healthcare experience
Step 2. Attend an accredited PA program
Step 3. Become certified
Step 4. Obtain a state license
Step 5. Maintain your certification.

Source: www.aapa.org

Hiring a PA (PDF) is a smart decision. PAs have been recognized by Congress and the President as crucial to improving U.S. healthcare. In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress recognized PAs as one of three healthcare professions in primary care.

Because of their general medical background, PAs have flexibility in the types of medicine they can practice. That makes them responsive to changing healthcare needs. PAs are uniquely suited to provide preventive care services in all settings, from primary care to surgery.

PAs work in physician-PA teams teams and are educated in a collaborative approach to healthcare, which improves coordination of care and can improve outcomes. They are educated in intense educational programs that last approximately 26 months (3 academic years). This relatively short training period means that PAs can quickly begin practice, helping offset the worsening physician shortages. PAs extend the care that physicians that physicians provide and increase access to care. Studies have consistently shown that PAs provide high-quality care with outcomes similar to physician-provided care. Additionally, studies have shown that incorporating PAs into office or hospital practice can improve outcomes. Studies have also shown that patients are just as satisfied with medical care provided by PAs as with that provided by doctors and do not distinguish between types of care providers.

Further, a practice employing a PA pays less in overhead costs for that PA compared to a physician, while having a healthcare provider on board who can provide most of the same services.

Source: www.aapa.org

WHY?

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

CAPA Membership Benefits Include the following:

  • Reduced Tuition for Excellent CME Opportunities
  • Quarterly Newsletter
  • PA Day
  • Employment Listings
  • Opportunities to be Involved

All members benefit from the work of the many committees within CAPA. These committees also offer members a great opportunity to become involved in the organization, make a contribution to your profession, and meet other Colorado PAs. CAPA committees include: Judicial Affairs, CME, Public Education, Legislative, Reimbursement, Newsletter, PA Day, and Professional Affairs.

CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP

The Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants represents physician assistants in the state, promotes the physician assistant profession within the state, and furthers the education of its members.

We promote the physician assistant profession within the Colorado, and furthers the education of its members.

The Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) was established in 1976 to:

Promote the PA profession to Colorado's lay and medical community
Offer community health education projects
Offer continuing medical education for PAs
Help ensure proper regulation and utilization of PAs in Colorado
In 1983, CAPA obtained legislation which clearly defined and broadened the role of PAs —including prescriptive privileges to certified PAs. The law ranks as model legislation for PAs across the country.

In 1995, CAPA obtained legislation which included the use of controlled substances into the prescriptive privileges of certified PAs.

Today, CAPA represents Colorado PAs before the State Legislature and the Board of Medical Examiners, as well as monitoring their decisions and disseminating information. CAPA also provides information to the Colorado Medical Society, local medical societies, and insurance companies.

CAPA's membership includes more than 500 PAs who are widely distributed across the state, working in both primary care and specialty areas. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors which acts on behalf of the membership.

CAPA is a constituent chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the nationally recognized organization representing the PA profession. The CAPA membership annually elects delegates to serve in the AAPA's House of Delegates and attend the AAPA Annual Convention.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP

CAPA individual membership offers a variety of benefits to help you.

Soar to new heights with CAPA. Join Today

CAPA's membership includes more than 500 PAs who are widely distributed across the state, working in both primary care and specialty areas. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors which acts on behalf of the membership.

CAPA is a constituent chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the nationally recognized organization representing the PA profession. The CAPA membership annually elects delegates to serve in the AAPA's House of Delegates and attend the AAPA Annual Convention.

We ask all members to update their address, phone number, and e-mail information as it changes. For more information, or to update your membership information, please log in using your e-mail address and password.
Contributions or gifts to CAPA may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. Dues, however, are NOT deductible as a result of lobbying activities which are regulated by federal lobbying laws. Questions about the valid tax deductibility should be discussed with your tax advisor.

  • Association staff, including an Executive Director, Lobbyist, and management team to coordinate and support the  association, member activities, and finances.
  • Subscription to the quarterly executive briefing, “CAPA Consult,” .
  • Published to facilitate the exchange of information, the sharing of employment opportunities, and as a forum for PAs on relevant issues in Colorado.
  • Each issue also focuses on a key issue of interest, such as vaccinations, public health, oncology or other current medical topics.
  • Information regarding continuing medical education opportunities in Indiana and online registration.
  • Lobbying for the PA profession to the State of Colorado.
  • Representation at the American Academy of Physician Assistants House of Delegates, the policy making body of the Academy.
  • Annual membership meetings.
  • Electronic updates on CME, job opportunities, and relevant issues.

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