January 23, 2012
An area certified physician assistant, Cal Domingue, PA-C with Louisiana Heart Lung and Vascular Center, recently became one of the first PAs in the nation to earn a new specialty credential from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Domingue was awarded a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, a distinction earned by meeting licensure, education and experience requirements and then passing an exam in the specialty. He is one of only 234 certified PAs to earn a CAQ in the program’s first year. He is one of only sixteen in the nation to earn a CAQ in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.
CAQs were offered to certified PAs in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, emergency medicine, nephrology and psychiatry.
“We offer heartfelt congratulations to the inaugural class of CAQ recipients,” said NCCPA President and CEO Janet Lathrop. “With the shortage of physicians growing each day in the U.S., it is promising to see certified PAs step up and voluntarily submit themselves to new standards for the benefit of the patients they serve each and every day.”
Certified PAs are licensed and certified health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision and bring a breadth of knowledge and skills to patient care. Though their role in any particular workplace is determined in consultation with the supervising physician, certified PAs can take histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventative health care, assist in surgery, perform a variety of procedures and write prescriptions.
About the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is the only credentialing organization for physician assistants in the United States. Since its inception as a not-for-profit organization in 1975, more than 97,000 physician assistants have been certified by NCCPA, and approximately 85,000 are certified today. In addition to its CAQ program, NCCPA also administers initial and recertifying exams, and has an established program for certification maintenance.