PA vs. Doctor...Exam question

Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by newbieme, May 17, 2008.

  1. newbieme

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    Hey All,
    I've seen alot of gret info comparing and contrasting PAs from doctors which is great. However I haven't seen (thought I might not have looked in the right places) any comments on the exams that PAs have to take every 6 years and the 100 hours of "educational training" every two years that is required to be able to continue to practice. So my question is when these exams are considered do ppl feel that its worth it to be a PA?
    Also any comments on the courses and the exams would be appreciated.
     
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  3. ChubbyChaser

    ChubbyChaser Yummmy

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    doctors are required to do X amount of continuing education and to take exams to recertify every so often.
     
  4. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    The PA/NP forum would be the best place for your question. Participants in pre-allo don't tend to be as familiar with PA preparation and exams.

    I'll move your question there for you so that you won't have to re-post.
     
  5. newbieme

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    Thanks!!
     
  6. dfk

    dfk Banned
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    i guess i'm a bit confused here.
    are you wondering if it is worth it to continually learn
    about an evolving profession on a regular basis?
    i can't think of a profession (healthcare) where this
    doesn't occur/isn't required.
     
  7. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc

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    pa's take an entry level cert exam( pance) and a recert exam every 6 hrs and do 100 hrs of continuing ed every 2 yrs.
    docs do 3 entry level exams(usmle) have varying cme requirements based on specialty and retest on their specialty exams every 7-10 yrs.
    all pa's and physicians require cme and retesting.
     
  8. newbieme

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    Thanks emedpa. Your response was much appreciated. I'm also wondering if the courses (continuing medical education) are a hassle. I noticed they are only offered in certain places and at certain times.
    I'm currently a 2nd year med student. I've always wanted to do general or family practice or something of the sort so I'm trying to decide if being a PA may be right for me.
    Also, if there's anyone out there that has taken the PA cert. exam and the USMLE, if you could address how they compare that would be great.
     
  9. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc

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    finish med school. the hard part is almost behind you.
    cme courses are everywhere. almost any lecture counts as cat 1 and anything else(reading an article, teaching a student, etc) counts as cat 2. I usually end up with way more than I need every 2 yrs. my current 2 yr cycle ends in may 2009 and I already have 109 hrs with an entire yr to go. just keeping up required classes for my job gives me lots of cme between the following: acls, atls, pals, fccs, abls, the difficult airway course.
    also I take a yearly cme vacation for 30-40 hrs of cme in some nice location like hawaii, etc there are lots of these with lectures in the morning and all day free in paradise.
    I have not taken the usmle but know those who have taken both. step 1 usmle is apparently the hardest of the usmle steps. step 2 and 3 are not supposed to be terribly difficult if you know clinical medicine. the rule I heard was this: step 1 study for a month. step 2 study for a week. step 3 bring a #2 leaded pencil.
    the pa exam is based on step 2 and step 3.
     
  10. newbieme

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    Thanks for all of your advice emedpa.
     
  11. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf

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    mmm...

    That's no longer the case unfortunately. No way to do step 3 without studying, not anymore... that's a saying from old school attendings who havent taken the exam in many many years. That exam has become a monster and many residents fail it. Worse, step 2 is now two parts so it becomes 4 boards technically not 3. All 4 exam raise the limit of passing every 4-5 years. This has been going on for last 20 or so years.

    I noticed you also dont mention the inservice yearly exam in residency, which is nothing to laugh about and factors into advancement (and in some specialties it's THE factor).
     
  12. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc

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    my only experience with the md inservice exam has been at the 2 fp programs where I have taught over the yrs. the residents there didn't take them all that seriously, in fact they considered them an annoyance. this may be different of course in specialty fields.
     
  13. DrDre311

    DrDre311 Makaveli

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    The ABSite is a well known bastard of an inservice exam, which is taken on an annual basis by surgery residents. The only people that blow it off are the anesthesia prelims. As far as the USMLE Steps go Step I is more "difficult" because so much emphasis is placed on your score for residency placement. I studied for a little over 2 weeks for Step I; I studied for 3-4 days for Step II CK b/c I took it right in the middle of interview season. The reason Step II is considered "easier" is because much less emphasis is placed on your score, and most people take it after at least a year of clinical medicine--so the "what is the next best step in management" questions make more sense because they rely on decision-making rather than rote memorization of dry facts.

    I would not consider Step I or Step II "easy" exams. The questions are written by the same people and have similar degrees of difficulty, they just require different skill sets.
     

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