The NCCPA is currently researching additional specialties that it could develop CAQ recognition for, says Lathrop, but the organization doesn't want to get ahead of itself.
"We just started advertising the program in January," she says, adding that the NCCPA already has a couple hundred PAs who have signed up for the program, which is right on target with its expectations.
"We look for products that show we are capable," said Carey Stratford, a PA practicing in Springfield, VT, who has been working in the ED for the past 30 years. "For someone like myself, who is established, it is unlikely to add upward mobility or salary, but demonstrates mastery. For less experienced PAs, however, it will have value to a lot who are in the first few years of their career and looking to transition to ED medicine."
Physicians also are very supportive and seem to universally back this program, says Stratford, who is scheduled to take the first exam in September.
"It provides a standard. Physicians know that they can expect a certain degree of competency from this individual. They look at it as being something that is core to the practice of ED medicine," he says. "As you are looking for candidates, you have a standard that you can look for and it supports the profession. They have said it will give the PA who has gone through this a leg up."
Lathrop agrees. "We seem to be a society that really appreciates the need for backup in this litigious world."
A PA fresh out of school is trained in general medicine, but then he or she goes off and works with physicians, many of whom are specialists.