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New CAQ in OBGYN Now Available

Megan Johnson, MPAS, PA-C, who practices OBGYN at the Mayo Clinic assisted in developing the initial OBGYN CAQ exam.

Board Certified PAs practicing in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) can now earn a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) to document their expertise in this specialty.

The upcoming certification period is scheduled from September 9 to 14. Interested PAs can register via the PA Portal.

Once the proposal for a CAQ in Obstetrics and Gynecology received approval from the NCCPA Board of Directors, as is the case in the development of all NCCPA’s exam programs, practicing PAs from across the U.S. began collaborating to develop the initial examination.

Megan Johnson, MPAS, PA-C, who practices OBGYN at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, Minn., was a key participant in this development.

“I am excited about the launch of the OBGYN CAQ as an opportunity for PAs to demonstrate their specialization and expertise in the field,” Johnson said. “It has been a joy to work alongside such gifted and thoughtful PAs to ensure this exam identifies those who are able to provide excellent evidence-based care to OB & GYN patients, especially during this time of physician shortage.”

“My hope is that there will continue to be increasing numbers of PAs in OBGYN, a field that suits us so well as proceduralists, and that a CAQ might allow a qualified PA an edge when being considered for competitive positions.”

The need for OBGYN care in the U.S. is predicted to rise in the coming years. This is due to the anticipated annual population growth of 1.3 million people, coupled with a decrease in the number of practicing OBGYNs.

The current and projected demand for OBGYN services, coupled with the desire to remain competitive with other health professionals in this discipline, were major considerations that led Association of Physician Associates in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG) leaders to propose and advocate for the added credential.

“There continues to be a misunderstanding of PAs’ training and utilization in OBGYN,” said APAOG Immediate Past-President Melissa Rodriguez, DMSc, PA-C. “Without a CAQ that provides a competitive edge for PAs, PAs could be marginalized from practicing in this specialty.”

The initial cohort of candidates can earn the credential in 2024. More details about the exam requirements can be found here.