Becoming a Physician Assistant in Washington DC
Physician Assistant Certification and License in District of Columbia
Step #1: Earning a State License
The District of Columbia Health Professional Licensing Administration, or HPLA, is the place to apply for a physician assistant state license for those who want to become a physician assistant in Washington DC. Although the licensing requirements are enacted by the District of Columbia Board of Medicine, the HPLA is the agency that is responsible for reviewing all applications, ensuring that state requirements have been met and issuing licenses to healthcare professionals.
The application fee is $85 and the license fee is $145 for physician assistants. There is also a renewal fee of $145 for every time the license is renewed. Likewise, if the license is allowed to expire, it is required to pay the renewal fee, as well as a reinstatement fee of $229.
In the District of Columbia, it is also required to have a signed Delegation Agreement Form. This form is required to practice as a physician assistant, but it is not required in order to get state licensure. It is a statement of agreement that notifies the government of you the physician that the physician assistant is working under.
Step #2: Accreditation by the ARC-PA
The ARC-PA, or the Accreditation Review Committee for the Physician Assistant is highly important to those who want to know how to become a physician assistant in Washington DC, because it the only acceptable form of accreditation in the District of Columbia. Without this accreditation status, the education and training that you obtained from school is useless. In addition, you will not be eligible to receive a state license. So, it is dually important that you check the accreditation rank before you commit to a particular school.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, or ARC-PA, employs the strong ethics demanded of a physician assistant by forcing schools that accept their accreditation to maintain certain variations of standards through their training and curriculum.
How to Obtain Physician Assistant Certification in Washington DC
The next step in obtaining state licensure is to take and pass the test given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, or NCCPA. This group does not require that you have certification from an accredited school, but your state certainly does.
The test given by the NCCPA is effectively known as the PANCE examination; or the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. Everything that you have learned in culmination from your education and applications will be covered on this test. This examination is designed as a testing measure to help maintain that only the most qualified of all physician assistants are allowed into the workforce and exposed to the general public. Because the public relies on physician assistants to be as effective as doctors and informed about their profession, this is a very important step.
After the test has been passed, you will be given the title “PA-C”; which stands for Physician Assistant – Certified. Not only is this a required title to work under any supervising physician, but it also lets your patients know that you are in fact certified and competent in your career field.
However, because the field of medicine is constantly changing and new laws are presented everyday, the certification from the NCCPA cannot last forever continuously; rather it must be renewed every two years. To recertify, you must take the PANRE test, or the Physician Assistant National Recertification Examination. Once this test has been passed, the license can be approved for renewal.
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