Get to Know
Certified PAs

Learn more about PAs and how they help to provide over 9.5 million patients like you with high-quality, accessible care each week.

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Certified PAs are highly qualified, licensed members of health care teams that diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, assist in surgery and more! Certified PAs are educated in the medical model and undergo periodic assessments of medical knowledge and continuing medical education throughout their careers.

Certified PAs are
Prepared and Proven

How do PAs prepare to enter practice?

medical professional wearing a lab coat teaches classroom of PA students

Education

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 health care experience with hands-on patient care. PA programs are typically 27 months, and PA students must complete at least 2,000 hours structured clinical education before they graduate.

License to practice

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
Maintenance

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.

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