Improving Health, Saving Lives.
Certified PAs Do That!

What is a Board Certified PA?

Physician Assistants/Associates (PAs) are highly qualified, licensed members of health care teams that diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, assist in surgery and more! PAs are educated in the medical model and undergo periodic assessments of medical knowledge and continuing medical education throughout their careers. Explore this website to learn more about PAs and how they help to provide over 10.4 million patients like you with high-quality, accessible care each week.

Certified PAs are
Prepared and Proven.

How do PAs prepare to enter practice?

medical professional wearing a lab coat teaches classroom of PA students

They're Educated at the Master's Degree Level

Board Certified PAs are educated at the master’s degree level. Before entering PA school, PAs complete a bachelor’s degree program, and most are required to have prior healthcare experience with hands-on patient care. PA programs are typically 27 months, and PA students must complete at least 2,000 hours of structured clinical education before they graduate.

They're Nationally Certified and State Licensed

In order to obtain their license to practice medicine, Certified PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Once they have completed these requirements they can apply for a license with their state’s medical board.

State licensure laws authorize PAs to practice medicine either pursuant to a supervision agreement with a physician or in collaboration with a physician.

Smiling PA consults with a patient

How do I know that I will receive high-quality care from a Certified PA?

Ongoing Certification

Certified PAs are required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years.

Certified PAs participate in the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Examination (PANRE) , a periodic assessment of clinical knowledge reasoning, medical skills and professional behaviors.

Did you know?

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Test Your
Knowledge of Certified PAs

Think you know PAs? Put your knowledge to the test in this interactive quiz!

Now that you know how Board Certified PAs care for and support patients like you every day, watch this video to learn a little about the organization that certifies those PAs.

The National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA) is the only certifying body for PAs in the U.S. Established as a not-for-profit organization in 1974, NCCPA provides certification programs that reflect standards for clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning and other medical skills and professional behaviors required upon entry into practice and throughout the careers of PAs.

Learn more about NCCPA.