Perhaps you are currently a physician assistant looking for more information about which recertification exam to take, or maybe you are curious about what you will need to do as a physician assistant if this is your career goal. Here you will find some information about two examinations used to assess the skills and knowledge of physician assistants and why this is so important in the medical field.
What is PANRE?
PANRE stands for physician assistant national recertifying examination. This is a test used to ensure that physician assistants remain qualified and able to safely perform their job. Since the work physician assistants need to undertake on a daily basis is so vital and has such high stakes, it is essential that they can recertify in order to stay qualified for the role and perform potentially life-saving duties for patients in their care.
What is the Difference Between PANRE and PANRE LA?
If you have been looking at your options, you will have noticed that there are two different tests that can be taken: either PANRE or PANRE LA. These tests are both for physician assistants looking to maintain their certification. While PANRE LA is a newer form of the test and is designed to be more flexible for participants in terms of time, the previous test known simply as PANRE is not as flexible, is closed book and enforces a time limit on questions. PANRE LA is taken over three years at a maximum and two at a minimum, giving examinees much more time to achieve their best possible score. However, both tests have the same content and high expectations for participants.
Who Takes the Exam?
Physician assistants need to become certified again on a regular basis so that a high level of up-to-date skill and knowledge is maintained within the field. Physician assistants who need to recertify must find out which examination they will take based on when they are due to take it. PANRE LA was introduced at the beginning of 2023 and is designed to be completed at quarterly intervals.
Why is it Important?
Since physician assistants work so closely with both patients and physicians, it makes sense that they must be highly qualified. Not only this, but a physician assistant must also test their skill and knowledge regularly to guarantee that only the right people are filling these important roles. Without this kind of rigorous and ongoing testing, people who may have been qualified in the past could become outdated in their practice and knowledge, potentially leading to patient endangerment. This is why recertification, especially in the medical field, is so important.
What Are the Next Steps After Recertification?
Once a physician assistant has successfully recertified, they can continue their usual role. Of course, at points throughout this career there are also opportunities for people to advance by gaining additional qualifications, such as a DMSc – a Doctor of Medical Science. This all depends on the individual's personal preferences and desired career path. The value of continual learning and development cannot be understated.