There are many national and state physician assistant associations that exist for the physician assistant profession. Many of these associations concern themselves with academic and/or historical aspects of the physician assistant career. Other physician assistant associations are responsible for accreditation or certification of the physician assistant career.
American Academy of Physician Assistant (AAPA)
Since 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) has been the national group for advocacy and education for physician assistants and their patients. AAPA strives for the improvement and enhancement of the PA profession and healthcare.
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) is an agency that accredits physician assistant programs. ARC-PA evaluates programs using standards for accreditation that protect students wishing to become PA in the United States.
Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)
The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), formerly known as the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (APAP), is a national association organized to represent physician assistant programs, including 169 of the 170 programs currently accredited in the United States. Faculty, students, applicants and stakeholders receive support through services provided by PAEA.
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) oversees the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and issues the Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C) title. As the only national certifying association for physician assistants, the NCCPA ensures that physician assistants meet requirements for professional skills and knowledge.
Physician Assistant History Society
The Physician Assistant History Society tracks the history of the physician assistant profession through the archiving of papers, magazines and newspapers, reports, dissertations, manuscripts, oral histories, films, videos, photographs and more.
Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (SEMPA)
The Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (SEMPA) is a professional association for physician assistants who practice in emergency medicine. SEMPA works to increase public knowledge about the importance of Emergency Medicine PAs (EMPAs).
Association of Neurosurgical Physician Assistants (ANSPA)
Founded in 1990, the mission of the Association of Neurosurgical Physician Assistants (ANSPA) is to highlight PAs who specialize in neurology and neurological surgery. ANSPA encourages development of CME within this specialty and maintains a liaison with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB-M)
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB-M) acts as the national voice for state medical boards in regards to licensure and regulation.
Association of Physician Assistant in Cardiovascular Surgery (APACVS)
The Association of Physician Assistant in Cardiovascular Surgery promotes the interests of cardiothoracic and vascular PAs. The goal of APACVS is to enhance the quality of care for patients and maintain academic success.
United States Department of Labor
The United States Department of Labor offers an online occupational outlook handbook that provides a summary of the physician assistant profession, including specifications such as median pay, work experience, number of jobs, entry-level education, job outlook and information on how to become a PA.
Involvement with Physician Assistant Associations
Consider becoming involved with physician assistant associations if you are a physician assistant or are considering physician assistant programs. These organizations can greatly help further your physician assistant career by finding other PAs and PA job opportunities.