Professional OrganizationsThe PA profession enjoys not only support from national medical groups including The American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, but has also, over the last few decades, seen the rise of numerous organizations dedicated solely to the promotion and support of physician assistants and associates on the national and local levels.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
In 1968, the AAPA was founded to serve as the national professional society for physician assistants and continues in its mission to this day. Its objectives include aiding the ongoing development, evaluation, and acceptance of the physician assistant concept. The AAPA serves as a forum and clearinghouse for such professional business as insurance, employment, and continuing medical education. Students and graduates of PA programs are encouraged to become members of the Academy and have the opportunity to participate in the continuing development of the PA profession. For many years, students, graduates and faculty of the Yale PA Program have held leadership roles within the AAPA and in the student arm of the AAPA, the SAAAPA, to which Yale's Jack Cole Student Society belongs.
Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
The PAEA is the only national organization in the United States representing the 139 currently accredited physician assistant educational programs. Its mission is to pursue excellence in PA education, foster faculty development, advance the body of knowledge that defines quality education and patient-centered care, and to promote diversity in all aspects of physician assistant education. CASPA, the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants, and the method by which all applicants to the Yale PA Program apply, began as a project of the PAEA and now serves more than 90 PA programs nationwide.
Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants (ConnAPA)
ConnAPA is the Connecticut state chapter of the AAPA. Chartered by the AAPA in 1976, its goal is to further the PA concept while being responsive to the specific professional needs of the state membership. Perhaps its most important function is to initiate and support state legislation fostering the growth of the PA profession. ConnAPA publishes a members' newsletter, acts as a contact for new PAs coming into the state, provides scholarships for PA students, and sponsors continuing medical education programs.
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
The NCCPA acts an independent organization representing different national medical organizations and the PA profession and maintains and operates the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Eligibility for the PANCE is extended only to graduates of accredited PA programs, and passing the PANCE is required in order to obtain licensure and to practice clinically. The NCCPA also maintains a system for certificate reregistration (done every two years) based on continuing education requirements (CMEs) and maintains a separate examination, the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Examination, or PANRE, for mandatory recertification every six years. Historically, over 99% of Yale graduates have been certified - 97% on their first exam attempt.