Frequently Asked Questions

Certification FAQs

How do I register for the Certification Exam?

The registration form will be made available on line, simply complete the online registration form and it will automatically be submitted to PACCC. Once the registration form and fees have been received, a receipt will be sent out.

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How will I receive my exam results?

The Pass/Fail results will be forwarded to each individual by registered mail unless email approval is provided at the time of writing.

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What if I am not successful?

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in the Policy and procedure document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam. The policy for the number of attempts takes effect immediately while the within a five year period will take effect after the 2014 PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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What is the eligibility requirement to write the exam?

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
All candidates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Properly complete and sign the PACCC PA Cert Exam online registration form by the established deadline;
  • Be a member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA); and
  • Meet the competency and/or experience as laid out in the eligibility criteria listed below.

ELIGIBILITY

To establish eligibility to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam all applicants must meet either of the following:

Be a graduate of a Canadian PA program previously accredited by the CMA

  • Requires validation of successful completion of a Canadian PA programs previously accredited by the CMA from the PA program.
  • New graduate’s first exam attempt must be made within the first three (3) years after graduation
  • Previously CMA accredited PA program graduates are eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program; during that five (5) year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four (4) times, when either the fifth (5th) year or the fourth (4th) attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

OR

Be a graduate of an Accreditation Review Commission (ARC) program and certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistant (NCCPA)

  • Requires validation of successful completion of an ARC accredited US PA program and proof of current NCCPA membership.
  • NCCPA member number must be included on the registration form.
  • Must also declare if your name appears on the National Physicians Data Bank (NPDB) Report)

Even if you have earned a medical degree, you must still graduate from a CMA or ARC-PA accredited program to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

Trainees of a CMA accredited program may be eligible to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training program pending confirmation of completion of core competencies by the program. Canadian PA programs previously accredited by CMA with candidates registering to write the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training must provide PACCC with a list confirming the names of each enrolled student that has completed core competencies and are eligible to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam. Candidates whose names do not appear on the provided list will be redirected to their PA Program and their registration form will be refused. Should a candidate not be successful in graduating from their PA program, their PACCC PA Cert Exam results become null and void. Under no circumstances will these candidates be advised of their PACCC PA Cert Exam results prior to PACCC receiving confirmation of successful program completion.

PACCC will not waive any eligibility requirements

The PACCC Manager, Certification approves all applications for eligibility to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam. If there is insufficient documentation to substantiate the certification requirements the application will be refused. All applications will be reviewed 30 days before the exam date. In the event of a refusal, a candidate can dispute the decision in writing within 2 weeks before the exam date. All written disputes will be referred to the PACCC for immediate review and consideration.

ONLINE PA CERT EXAM REGISTRATION
The online registration dates will be posted annually in the Exam Dates and Online Exam Registration sections under the PACCC logo on the CAPA Website. No registrations will be accepted after the posted close date. PACCC reserves the right to waive the registration deadline under extenuating circumstances however, PACCC decisions are final. Requests for late registrations must be submitted in writing to certification@capa-acam.ca.

IRREGULAR BEHAVIOUR
Any behaviour that threatens the integrity or security of the PA Cert Exam and the certification process is considered by PACCC to be irregular behaviour.  Irregular behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • making false representations on CAPA membership applications or falsifying supporting documentation;
  • altering or falsifying CCPA certificates or otherwise misrepresenting a certification status;
  • altering or falsifying PA Cert Exam performance reports;
  • seeking or having access to the PA Cert Exam materials before the PA Cert Exam is administered;
  • impersonating an examinee or engaging someone else to take the PA Cert Exam by proxy;
  • copying of the PA Cert Exam answers from someone else or allowing answers to be copied;
  • copying, memorizing and/or reproducing PA Cert Exam items for personal use or distribution;
  • purchasing or stealing any PA Cert Exam materials;
  • possessing unauthorized materials or equipment during the administration of a PA Cert Exam;
  • making a false or intentionally misleading report accusing others of irregular behaviour.

To help PACCC maintain the integrity and security of its certification process, anyone acting in good faith that has information or evidence that irregular behaviour has occurred is encouraged to submit a written, signed statement to PACCC detailing the incident and providing copies of any supporting evidence or documentation.

If PACCC determines that irregular behaviour has occurred, it may invalidate scores, suspend or revoke existing certifications, temporarily or permanently bar individuals from the PA Cert Exam, or may impose other sanctions or take other actions, as it deems appropriate, including legal action.

APPEAL PROCESS
Any candidate subject to an adverse decision by PACCC can submit an appeal (see Appeal Process document).
A failing score on the PACCC PA Cert Exam is NOT subject to appeal.
The following adverse decisions by PACCC (or delegated to its Manager, Certification) are subject to appeal.

  • Disciplinary action based on irregular behaviour of candidates as reported in writing to PACCC before, during or after a PA Cert Exam;
  • Disciplinary action based on fraudulent use of the CCPA credential;
  • Denial of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of certification;
  • Other adverse action regarding the CCPA credential.

RE-CERTIFICATION
There is no requirement for re-certification. Canadian Certified Physician Assistant’s (CCPA) are required to maintain their proficiency through the tracking of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All CCPAs must be a regular or sustained member of CAPA and must track their CPD credits through the CPD Tracking Tool of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (the Royal College) MAINPORT ePortfolion login. Please review the PACCC CPD policy for non-compliance.

NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS AND RE-WRITES
Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in this document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a previously CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

AGGREGATE DATA
Aggregate data (candidate names are removed) is provided to each previously CMA accredited program to provide the information required for the maintenance of  accreditation.

LIST OF CCPAs
All individuals who obtain the Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) designation are added to a list found under the PACCC logo on the CAPA website and choosing List of CCPAs. This list contains the names of all PAs that hold the CCPA designation from inception to the last completed PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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When is the next set of Certification Exams to be scheduled?

The exact dates, timings and actual location will be made available on the web site.

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How do I get a replacement certificate?

A replacement certificate can be requested. There is a $50 charge to issue a replacement certificate due to name change, loss or other factors beyond CAPA’s control.

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Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program frequently asked questions

I participate as an examiner for the PACCC Test committee. How can I claim credits for my contributions?

There are several options available for you to receive MOC credits:

  • The time you spend participating in any part of the examination process – from setting the exam standards, to being an examiner can be claimed as an activity for 15 credits per year under Section 2: Systems Learning: Examination Development.
  • The time you spend in the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination can be submitted as a personal learning project in Section 2.
  • The time you spend on reviewing the feedback on your contributions to the examination process (e.g. the quality of your MCQs) or your performance during the examination (e.g. during an oral examination) is a review of your “educational” practice that could be included under Section 3: Practice Assessment (3 credits per hour).

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How can I get credits for participating in committees?

For participating in certain committees, you may claim 15 credits per year per committee. The purpose or activity of the committee (working group, task force or similar title) must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. The committee must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference. It must also meet on a regular schedule.

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How can I get credits for all the research done for grant applications?

Any research and learning you do in relation to grant applications may be recorded as personal learning projects (PLPs) in Section 2: Planned Learning.

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Where can I report my participation in doing peer reviewing of journals and/or grant applications?

Participants who are actively engaged in the peer review process throughout the year for activities such as peer reviewing journal articles and reviewing research grant applications can submit this activity in Section 2: Systems Learning: Peer Assessment for 15 credits per year.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing a colleague’s practice?

You may record reviews that you do of your colleague’s practice under Section 2: Systems Learning): Peer Review and you will receive 15 credits for the year.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing feedback that I received from colleagues/others related to my practice and/or my teaching?

If a colleague reviews your practice and provides feedback, the time spent on this activity, including any additional time you spend reviewing that feedback, can be recorded under Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment and you will receive 3 credits per hour. Reviewing feedback from your teaching sessions can also be reported in Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment.

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Where can I record an online self-assessment program (SAP)?

Online self-assessment programs (SAP) do not automatically qualify for Section 3 credits in the MOC Program. All online self-assessment programs (SAP) must be reviewed and approved directly by a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider and if approved, would contain the Royal College accreditation statement. See a list of accredited Section 3 activities.

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I participated in a self-assessment program (SAP) not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio. Where do I record this activity?

If a SAP is not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact us at: certification@capa-acam.ca to confirm its status. If it is not accredited by a Royal College CPD Accredited Provider, then you may choose to claim this activity as a personal learning project.

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Can I apply extra credits (>400) earned in my current cycle towards my next cycle?

There is currently no provision to carry forward completed credits to a future MOC cycle and the completion of 400 credits is a minimum 5-year cycle requirement. MOC Program participants who achieve 400 credits before the end of their cycle are still required to complete at least 40 credits in each of the remaining years of their current cycle.

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I work part-time. Do I need to complete the same number of credits as someone who is in full-time practice?

MOC Program participants who are in part-time practice are required to maintain their knowledge, skills, and competencies. There is a wide range of learning activities included within the MOC Program and the 400-credit requirement for a 5-year MOC cycle has been deemed to be reasonable and achievable for all participants.

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How do I know if a conference held in Canada qualifies for Section 1 of the MOC Program?

In Canada, conferences, courses, workshops and seminars must be approved by an accredited CPD provider. Section 1 approval will be recognized by the following statement on program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider’s name].” (Please refer to the next question regarding the exception.)

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I participated in a group learning activity approved for AMA PRA Category 1, AAPA Category 1, AAFP Prescribed or CFPC Mainpro/Mainpro+ Certified Group learning credits. Are these credits approved for MOC Section 1?

For PAs, group learning activities developed by the AMA PRA for Category 1, the AAPA for Category 1, the AAFP for Prescribed credits or the CFPC Mainpro+ Certified Group learning can be recorded as accredited activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program.

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Where can I report my attendance at a conference held outside of Canada or a conference held overseas?

All live conferences or live courses held outside of Canada can be reported as accredited group learning activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program if they are developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

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I attended an educational dinner event hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Where can I record these hours?

These hours cannot be claimed for credit within the MOC Program. However, this event may encourage you to continue your learning and develop a personal learning project (see PLP question).

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Can working or clinical rounds be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits?

No. In order for rounds, journal clubs or small group learning activities to be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits, they must meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College. These standards include the establishment of a planning committee, the development of learning objectives based on a needs assessment conducted for the target audience, adherence to established ethical standards and the execution of an evaluation strategy of the rounds program. Typically, “working” or “clinical” rounds are not formal CPD activities, rather, they are bedside visits by a physician—or other health professional—to evaluate treatment, assess current course and document the patient’s progress or recuperation.

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Can morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits?

No. Morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds cannot be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits because they typically review one patient/physician at a time. This is not considered feedback on performance in practice. A formal audit and feedback on a minimum of 10 patients is needed to be representative of one’s performance in practice. Morbidity and Mortality rounds are group-learning activities that can be included under Section 1: Group Learning: Rounds, assuming that they have been approved through the self-accreditation process of the Royal College.

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Where do I record a PhD or Master’s program?

PhD or Master’s programs can be submitted at 25 credits per course in Section 2 under Formal Course.

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What is a personal learning project (PLP) and how can I incorporate this into my learning plan?

A personal learning project (PLP) is a self-initiated learning activity that is stimulated by a question, issue or dilemma in your professional practice. For example, PLPs can be created based on updating your knowledge to prepare a presentation, further research after reading a journal article or after participating in a point-of-care activity. They can be inspired by any aspect of your professional practice (CanMEDS Roles) and are flexible and adaptable within any learning context.

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What is a traineeship and can you provide some examples of activities that would fit in this section?

Traineeships are structured learning activities designed to meet an identified professional need. Traineeships require the identification of learning objectives and a supervisor who will help you to plan learning activities that meet your learning objectives. The supervisor is also responsible for verifying that activities have been completed and can provide meaningful feedback on what was achieved. The final step required for all traineeships is the documentation of the learning outcomes that were identified for practice. Participation in activities such as PALS, NALS, ATLS, ACLS, and BLS, to name a few, are considered traineeships.

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Why are there different sub-types for personal learning project (PLP) under Section 2: Self-Learning Activities?

When reporting a PLP in MAINPORT ePortfolio, you must select a sub-type (from a drop-down menu) to clarify the reason behind the creation of your learning plan. This allows us to capture data about how you are using PLPs, which will in turn support future improvements to the MOC framework. The following sub-types are available within MAINPORT ePortfolio (each is eligible for 2 credits/hour):

  • Address clinical or academic questions
  • Preparation for formal teaching activities
  • Development of research activities
  • Address medical-professional administrative or systems related questions/issues
  • Other—Please describe the type of PLP

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Where do I record activities such as using Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

These activities are recorded in Section 2: Self-Learning Activities for 0.5 credits/activity. For activities conducted with third party organizations, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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How can I get credits for reading journal articles, books, etc.?

Each journal article you read that you have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded in Section 2:Self-Learning: Reading or Bulk Reading). In addition, you may read journal articles and/or books with the specific objective of answering a question, issue, or problem you have identified in your professional practice. In this instance, this can be claimed in Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP) for 2 credits per hour.

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Can I claim MOC credits for teaching or giving presentations?

You may report the new learning acquired while preparing or researching for your teaching sessions or presentations under Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP).

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What types of activities can I report in Section 1: Group Learning?

In Canada, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Accredited conferences, courses, seminars, workshops, approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Some of these accredited group learning activities are listed on the Royal College website. Note that this is not an inclusive list therefore Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).
  • Other accredited conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops, held in Canada, but developed by an Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) – accredited physician organization (such as a university, academy, specialty society, hospital department);
  • Accredited web-based group learning activities approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).”
  • Accredited hospital rounds, tumor boards, M&M rounds, journal clubs, and small group learning activities that meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College, and have been registered at the Royal College (look for the accreditation statement which confirms MOC section 1 approval).

Outside Canada or overseas, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Live conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops that have been developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

Participation in Section 1 unaccredited group learning activities = 0.5 credit per hour of participation (50 credits maximum per cycle).

Unaccredited activities:

  • Participation as a learner/attendee in unaccredited rounds, journal clubs or small-group activities which are in the process of meeting the educational and ethical standards, and/or rural or local conferences that have no industry sponsorship.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 2: Self-Learning?

 

  • PhD & Master’s Programs: can be submitted at 25 credits per course under Formal Course.
  • Other types of Formal Courses: participation as a learner in other types of formal courses is eligible for 25 credits per course (These are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g. diploma program) or other educational organizations. These require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate and usually occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Note that other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a Section 1 accredited group learning activity (provided it meets the section criteria) and would be submitted at one (1) credit per hour.
  • Participation as a learner in activities such as: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and Basic Life Support (BLS) are eligible for two (2) credits per hour under Traineeship.
  • Activities such as doing additional research and acquiring new learning/knowledge while:
    • Addressing clinical or academic questions;
    • Doing research and preparation for formal teaching activities or presentations;
    • Doing research for the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination;
    • Doing research for grant applications, writing a publication or article;
    • Addressing medical-professional administrative or systems-related questions;
    • Addressing other CanMEDS roles.

    The learning acquired during the research and preparation for these can be submitted as Personal Learning Projects (PLPs) where you will earn two (2) credits per hour.

  • Reading Journal Articles: For each journal article that you read and have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded individually and receive one (1) credit per article.
  • Listening/viewing podcasts, audiotapes, videotapes, and reviewing enduring materials or scanning the internet (such as Medscape, UpToDate, etc.) = 0.5 credit per topic searched.
  • InfoPoems = 0.25 per activity.
  • Certain committees are eligible for 15 credits per year/per committee. This can be submitted as a Quality Care/Patient Safety Committee activity. (Note that the purpose or activity of the committee – working group, task force or similar title – must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. They must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference and must also meet on a regular schedule.)
  • Developing clinical practice guidelines with your colleagues or participating in activities or groups that set clinical care standards for your hospital can earn you 20 credits per year
  • Developing Curriculum – at the undergraduate, postgraduate or professional practice level – can earn you 15 credits per year.
  • Examination process – for provincial or national certification processes or systems (such as setting the exam standards, being an examiner) can earn you 15 credits per year as an Examination Development activity.
  • Peer reviewing journal articles, reviewing research grant applications can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Creating assessment strategies or reviewing your peers or colleagues can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Other Systems Learning Activities such as Patient Safety Initiatives, Quality of Care initiatives, Clinical Performance Standard Setting Activities, Assessments strategies for learners or education programs, can earn you 15 credits for the year.

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What is the PACCC doing to ensure that PAs are maintaining their CPD?

PACCC will be using an audit process in that members will be selected randomly and they will be asked to submit documentation supporting Mainpro credits.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 3: Assessment?

  • Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback.
  • Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other type of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3.
  • Do you write peer reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3 for 3 credits per hour.
  • Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance based assessments? That can also be claimed for Section 3.
  • The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on our website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.
  • The CMPA also has accredited medico-legal self-assessment programs available on their website.
  • A list of all accredited self-assessment programs is available on the Royal College website.

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What are the consequences of failing to meet the established CPD requirements?

Failure to complete the CPD requirements may result in the forfeiture of the privilege to use the CCPA designation.

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Recording and reporting activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio

What is the difference between “Reading” and “Bulk Reading” when reporting a Section 2: Self-Learning Activity?

The “Reading” category is to be used when you are recording your reflections on one self-learning activity, such as reading a journal article. If you are reporting on a number of journal articles read, please use the “Bulk” option.

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What is the difference between “Internet Searching” and “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” when reporting Section 2 internet searches conducted through third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

Both options are valid when entering internet search activities conducted through a third-party organization (like Medscape, UpToDate or Dynamed). If you are entering just one activity choose “Internet Searching.” If you are entering more than one activity at once, choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript”. This selection will allow you to enter the total number of activities in bulk. For activities conducted with third-party organizations and submitted under the bulk option, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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Can I record activities done through organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed in bulk?

Yes. As long as you have the proper documentation from the third-party organizations (certificate and transcript/list of activities), you can report these activities in bulk as follows:

  • Click on “Enter a CPD Activity”
  • Select Section 2: Self-Learning Activities
  • Choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter information for all required fields marked with red asterisks
  • Upload the certificate and transcript/list of activities provided by the third-party organization

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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What is an Accredited Self-Assessment program?

Accredited Self-Assessment programs use brief, highly directed questions in structured formats, such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions, to elicit reliable constructed responses from participants to assess aspects of knowledge in defined domains. Feedback provides opportunities for participants to identify areas for improvement and future learning.

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What is Chart Audit and Feedback?

Chart audit and feedback is an assessment strategy that uses data recorded in a chart or electronic health record to assess the performance of an individual, group or team against one or more measures of performance. Chart audits can focus on process or outcomes of care provided to one or more patients. Feedback is provided to facilitate the identification of areas for future learning and improvement.

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What is Multi-Source Feedback?

Multi-source feedback uses standardized questionnaires to gather data from multiple observers across a range of CanMEDS-PA Roles. Physician assistants are provided with a summary of their performance across a set of behaviours in relation to their peers. Feedback provides an opportunity to identify areas of strength and improvement and set goals for future learning.

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What is Direct Observation?

Direct observation uses supervisors, colleagues or peers to observe a PA performing a regular professional activity to identify whether specific behaviours or competences were demonstrated. The observer provides feedback to the PA on what was, or was not, observed in order to assist the PA in identifying areas for improvement or enhancement.

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What is Feedback on Teaching?

Summaries or compilations of evaluations of teaching completed by students, residents, physicians, PAs or health professionals provide physician assistant educators evidence related to the effectiveness and impact of teaching. Reviewing these evaluations provides opportunities to identify areas for improvement within this dimension of professional practice.

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What is an Annual Performance Review?

Annual reviews provide physician assistants with an opportunity to reflect on past performance goals and establish plans for the coming year. Use the feedback provided by supervising physicians, peers, department/division chairs or chiefs of staff to set new goals or identify strategies for improvement or professional development.

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What is Practice Assessment?

Practice assessment is a comprehensive approach to reviewing a physician assistants’ practice to assess adherence to established professional practice standards across multiple CanMEDS-PA roles using multiple assessment strategies. Practice assessments are completed by trained peer assessors and may integrate a records review, interviews with colleagues or co-workers, direct observations of interactions with patients, and patient questionnaires to enable the development of a comprehensive report of the overall quality and safety of the practice with recommendations that serve as the basis for future learning and improvement.

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What is the Holding Area?

The Holding Area is an area of MAINPORT ePortfolio that contains activities that require some additional information before they are counted in the MOC credit system. There are three different types of activities that can exist in the Holding Area. The first is an Incomplete Activity. These are activities that have been partially entered into MAINPORT ePortfolio. The second type of activity that occurs in the Holding Area is activities that have been automatically sent to MAINPORT ePortfolio on your behalf. The final kinds of activity that can exist in the Holding Area are CPD activities that are awaiting credit validation.

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How do I enter my yearly hours for rounds in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

You can enter your yearly attendance at rounds either individually or as a “block” of hours. For example, if you attended 20 hours of rounds during the year, you may choose to record each round you attended separately or record it as one entry worth 20 credits in Section 1.

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I attended a 3-day conference. Do I need to report each day separately or can I record my overall attendance as one entry?

You may record your conference attendance as one entry and report the total hours attended. Please record the end date of the conference in MAINPORT ePortfolio.

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I completed a day course and submitted this under Section 2: Formal Course. MAINPORT ePortfolio automatically gives me 25 credits for this – how can I change the number of credits?

Formal courses are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g., a diploma program) or other educational organizations. They require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate. Formal Courses occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Examples of Formal Courses: Masters or PhD programs. Other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a section 1 accredited group learning activity where you would receive one credit per hour of participation.

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I participate as an examiner for the PACCC Test committee. How can I claim credits for my contributions?

There are several options available for you to receive MOC credits:

  • The time you spend participating in any part of the examination process – from setting the exam standards, to being an examiner can be claimed as an activity for 15 credits per year under Section 2: Systems Learning: Examination Development.
  • The time you spend in the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination can be submitted as a personal learning project in Section 2.
  • The time you spend on reviewing the feedback on your contributions to the examination process (e.g. the quality of your MCQs) or your performance during the examination (e.g. during an oral examination) is a review of your “educational” practice that could be included under Section 3: Practice Assessment (3 credits per hour).

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How do I register for the Certification Exam?

The registration form will be made available on line, simply complete the online registration form and it will automatically be submitted to PACCC. Once the registration form and fees have been received, a receipt will be sent out.

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WORKSHOP: CASTING AND SPLINTING SKILLS FOR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS

0900 – 1200

Melissa K Weaver, PA-C, M. Ed

Description

This workshop will allow attendees to identify when to use a splint versus a cast, as well as identify commonly used casting materials and when to use them. Attendees will also be able to demonstrate proper cast application and removal. They will also be able to describe proper patient education with regards to casting.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Differentiate appropriateness of splint versus cast selection.
2. Distinguish splint and cast application based upon specific injury.
3. Demonstrate sling application for the upper extremity.
4. Demonstrate application and removal of simple casts and splints.
5. Manage patient education regarding casting and splinting instructions and care management.

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WORKSHOP: INTRODUCTION TO ADVANCED AIRWAY DEVICES

1300 – 1600

Jason Primrose

Description

Advanced airways are often critical for the management of critically ill patients. PA’s who work in acute or intensive care settings should be familiar with advanced airways, indications and contraindications of specific advanced airways, what can go wrong with them and how to troubleshoot problems.

Learning Objectives

1. Differentiate indications and contraindications for advanced airways selection.
2. Differentiate the benefits and risks of advanced airway placement.
3. Appraise the potential patient harm from inappropriate provider use of advanced airway devices.
4. Inspect for variable airway anatomy and predict the difficult airway and manage complicated use of advanced airway devices.
5. Prioritize selection and sizing for placement of an ET tube, LMA, and supraglottic airways in a clinical setting.
6. Practice placing advanced airways of various types, both non-assisted and using assisted laryngoscopy. Practice basic troubleshooting.
7. Understand superiority of assisted laryngoscopy versus direct for providers with limited intubation experience.

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KEYNOTE: PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS – BRIDGING THE GAP! A PANEL DISCUSSION ON MENTAL HEALTH

0830 – 1000

Panelists TBC

Description

In a time when anxiety and depression have reached epidemic proportions, it is no wonder that mental health is at the forefront of health care today. The media is filled with cases reporting Canadians who are unable to work, have substance abuse issues or have even committed suicide. The digital age was supposed to streamline our lives to make them easier, yet technology is undoubtedly contributing to the rampant rise of mental health issues we’re seeing today. What does this mean for our children and adolescents? Despite knowing all of this, there is still a lack of awareness, tools and resources for people to develop useful coping strategies. How can we as health care providers help? What are some emergent treatments or therapies we can offer patients and how can we address the gap for resources that are needed?

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  1. Identify the most common mental health issue that is underdiagnosed
  2. Discuss mental health problems we are seeing in children and adolescents
  3. Recognize how technology can play a part in developing a mental health issue
  4. Extrapolate what this means for future generations
  5. Apply knowledge in your practice of when and how to use new and emergent treatment and therapies
  6. Implement changes in your practice to address the resource gaps

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RURAL/REMOTE DEMOGRAPHICS FOR PAs

1030 – 1120

Stephanie Schneider, CCPA

Description

Stephanie started her employment with the Northern Regional Health Authority four and a half years ago. She was the first PA in Manitoba’s Public Health System servicing 26 northern and remote communities, more than 800km from a tertiary centre. Since 2013 they have added another PA in both The Pas and in the clinic in Thompson, they have also had another work in satellite locations in a community hospital. At this time they occupy roles as hospitalists, emergency medicine, cancer care, primary care, surgical assist and isolated locales. Familiarity with the PA role is finally becoming more recognized and utilization of them in nursing stations has started to become a dialogue that upper levels of management are excited to consider.

Northern Manitoba has some of the highest rates of TB in the developed world, highest rates of MRSA in Canada, a devastating community presence of chronic disease processes such as diabetes, and a suicide epidemic among youth that has been the centre of a 5th estate documentary in the past year. People continually suffer from the lack of access to continuous primary care and the current infrastructure/budgets don’t reflect a paradigm shift despite the ongoing dialogues demonstrating the consequences of healthcare resource paucity. Recruitment and retention is very low due to the demanding workloads imposed upon physicians, the vast majority being IMG’s who step up to do work that Canadian physicians generally do on a locum basis.

One of the largest communities for example has a population of 7,000 people with a nursing station that has 1-2 physicians, 5-6 nurses, and only POC labs and diagnostics.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Analyze community and population health demographics
2. Discuss health professional resources for healthcare aides, nurses, and physicians
3. Propose supportive integration of the PA profession as a healthcare resource to benefit the healthcare funding and infrastructure models, as well as provide physician support.
4. Analyze PA professional preparation needed for healthcare system integration.
3. Propose adaptation of healthcare guidelines in support of PA professional supportive integration in marginalized communities.

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“DUDE, WHERE’S MY BLOOD”: A QUICK REVIEW OF ANEMIA

1030- 1120

Andrew Herber, PA-C

Description

The following presentation is a fast paced, cased based, high energy presentation on the multiple etiologies of anemia. Lecture reviews acute, chronic, micro, macro, and hemolytic anemias. Audience will work through cases and interpret findings to determine likely etiology of anemia and best treatment. Lecture will also discuss evidence based guidelines regarding transfusion practices as well as impact of hospital acquired anemia on patient outcomes.

Learning Objectives

1. Assess different types of anemia from inspecting common associated laboratory findings.
2. Diagnose anemia based upon workup evaluation.
3. Integrate evidence-based guidelines for transfusion therapy.
4. Detect impact on patient outcomes of hospital acquired anemia.

 

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WORKSHOP: EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT OF COMMON ORTHOPAEDIC FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES FOR THE PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT

1030 – 1300

Thomas V. Gocke, III, MS, ATC, PA-C, DFAAPA

Orthopaedic Educational Services Inc.

Description

This workshop will develop the attendees’ ability to recognize normal radiographic anatomy of the Foot and use this when assessing injury radiographs. Using clinical cases, attendee’s will possess the ability to recognize common injuries of the Calcaneous, Mid-foot, Metatarsals and Toes.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Accurately communicate normal radiographs of the foot to patients and supervising physician(s).
2. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management techniques for a primary care patient with Plantar Fasciitis.
3. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management techniques for a primary care patient with Retrocalcaneal bursitis.
4. Describe the diagnosis, employ physical examination techniques and demonstrate the management for a primary care patient with a Calcaneous fracture.
5. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management for a primary care patient with a Lis-franc injury.
6. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management for a primary care patient with a 5th Metatarsal base fracture.
7. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management for a primary care patient with Metatarsal shaft fracture(s).
8. Describe the diagnosis and demonstrate the management for a primary care patient with Toe fractures/dislocations.

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GENERAL SURGERY… WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS AND HOW TO MANAGE WHEN YOU DO!

1130 – 1220

Jeffrey Harnden, CCPA, BA honors kinesiology/biology, Master degree of PA studies

Description

Learn an approach to recognizing, investigating and managing common post-operative complications of general surgery with focus on infection, bleeding, and shock. Special attention will be made regarding bedside observation/exam and history as well as interpretation of blood work and vital signs to rule in/out potentially serious complications. Organize your differential diagnosis to determine the source of abnormality, initial management and further investigation, if necessary. Recognize when, what, and where to refer and gain a basic approach to medical management.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Gain an approach to rounding on surgical patients, with emphasis on general observation, bedside physical exam, recognition of peripheral lines and drains, and changes in vital signs.
2. Develop a dynamic differential for common abnormal labs and vital signs.
3. Recognize and have an approach to the initial management of shock; both hematological and septic.
4. Understand the concept and risk factors of anastomotic leaks with main focus on the bowel.

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COLON CANCER IN YOUNG ADULTS

1130 – 1220

Kerubo Workman, BScN, RN, BHSc-PA, CCPA

Description

Hypothesis: The incidence of colorectal is increasing in young adults between ages 19-45. Methods: This study was a review of literature on the incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults in the past 10 years. A search was done using the NIH PubMed database. Most relevant paper were reviewed. Results: The final search identified 122 articles from which 11 studies were selected for analysis. There is an increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults. Conclusion: There has been a significant increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults. Further studies should be done to determine the cause of this rise, and set guidelines for early screening and prevention strategies.

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POST OPERATIVE MANAGEMENT USING NON-OPIOIDS

1330 – 1420

Details and speaker TBC

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PTSD

1330 – 1420

LCol Tuka

Details TBC

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MASS GATHERING/EVENT MEDICINE

1430 – 1520

Robert Harley, CCPA

Description

Event medicine is an up and coming sub-culture of Mass Gathering Medicine which is itself new. Between the both, there represents a new niche that PAs can get involved with and thrive.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Differentiate the differences between Mass Gathering Medicine and Event Medicine.
2. Defend application and prose expansion of the PA professional role and skill set as appropriate and conducive in various settings across Canada.
3. Utilize different conferences and courses that are available to PAs interested in Mass Gathering and Event medicine areas of practice.
4. Apply for positions within Mass Gathering and Event medicine areas of practice.

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ARE YOU TOO SMART TO BE INFLUENCED BY MARKETING?

1430 – 1520

Alan Cassels, Communications Director, Therapeutics Initiative Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Define a fiduciary relationship between a patient and a healthcare provider within the context of standard clinical practice.
2. Discriminate anchoring, blind spot, and confirmation bias, as well as the bandwagon effect.
3. Explain how reciprocity works and relate it to the receipt of gifts/compliments/money from pharmaceutical companies.
4. Qualify the influence of large and small gifts from pharmaceutical and device companies and explain how reciprocity plays a part in this process.
5. Reasonably examine clinician behavioral changes as influenced by pharmaceutical marketing exposure.
6. Infer clinician understanding of their influenced behavior from pharmaceutical and device company marketing.
7. Examine how exposure to pharmaceutical and device company marketing can impact your fiduciary relationship with your patients.

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PLENARY: FIRST NATIONS HEALTH CARE

0810 – 0900

Speaker and Details TBC

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INVASION OF THE MASTER GLAND: SUSPICION, INVESTIGATION AND MANAGEMENT OF PITUITARY TUMOURS

0910 – 1000

Leslie St. Jacques, CC-PA; BA, BHSc-PA MES, MSW

Description

The Pituitary is referred to as the “master gland” due to its pervasive control of our hormones. A pituitary tumour can drastically alter a person’s body and rob them of their vision. Far from being rare, pituitary tumours are frequently found incidentally on brain imaging done for other reasons. This visual presentation will utilize case examples and imaging to describe types of pituitary tumours and their effects, when to suspect your patient’s signs and symptoms could be related to the pituitary and what to order: labs, imaging, eye exams and referrals.

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DEPRESCRIBING: THE SOLUTION TO IRRATIONAL POLYPHARMACY

0910 – 1000

Thomas L. Perry MD, FRCPC Therapeutics Initiative, UBC

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Recognize the need to review prescription and non-prescription drugs methodically for all patients;
2. Rank drugs as “essential”, “probably harmful”, or “irrelevant”;
3. Recognize that competent deprescribing can liberate patients suffering from imposed drug toxicity.

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SELECT CASES OF ABDOMINAL PAIN IN THE PEDIATRIC POPULATION

1030 – 1120

Julia Clemens, Physician Assistant at The Hospital for Sick Children

Details TBC

 

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POINT OF CARE LAB TESTING: UNDERSTANDING HOW POC TESTING IN AN AUSTERE ENVIRONMENT CAN AUGMENT YOUR CLINICAL DECISION MAKING

1030 – 1120

Brad Olmstead

Description

This session will combine a very short case based presentation with the majority of time talking about how POC Testing can augment your clinical decision making. A workshop format will be used to highlight a few common POC test devices, as well as kits that are in current use throughout the CAF and in civillian practice. We will also discuss some practical applications in remote settings. The information will be valuable to all those who are currently using POCT devices in their practice, or plan to do so in the future. This session is highly recommended for all DND PAs but is also practical advice for all.

Learning Objectives

At the conlusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Have hands on experience with some common POCT devices.
2. Identify technological limitations of some devices and tests.
3. Recognize how your clinical decision making can be guided with the use of POCT.

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PANEL: CHANGING SPECIALTIES

1030 – 1120

Speakers and Details TBC

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THE ANNUAL PELVIC EXAM, OR IS IT? DO CURRENT PAP GUIDELINES PUT PATIENTS AT RISK?

1130 – 1220

Dianna Wachtel, DHSc, PA-C, CCPA

Description

When you tell your patient she doesn’t need a PAP test (cervical cancer screening) for 3 years, does she still need a pelvic exam in the interim?

Although the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care (CTFPHC) and the America College of Physicians (ACS) no longer recommend annual pelvic examination, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) still does. What is our responsibility to our patients to make sure they have adequate health screenings? While the CTFPHC and ACP cite reasons not to do the exams, namely fear, pain, embarrassment, and of course (as with digital rectal exams with men), potential over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment; ACOG recommends the exam, but admits there is little evidence supporting its utility in detection of pathology in asymptomatic women.

How then do we find balance in following clinical guidelines and keeping our patients healthy?

The presentation will also cover male PAP tests and include discussion of screening guidelines, including special cases, necessary health education for both providers, women and men, and pathology missed by lack of pelvic exams (cases).

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Differentiate between the current PAP test guidelines in pre-, post-menopausal and trans men and women.
2. Describe the difference between “PAP” and “pelvic exam”.
3. Investigate various pathologies (e.g. vulvar lesions, ovarian tumors, etc.) that may be missed if gynecological exams are not performed.
4. Prepare patient education supporting gynecological symptom evaluation.

 

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ACLS: EVERYTHING THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT SMALL TEAM SITUATIONS

1130 – 1220

Brad Olmstead

Description

This session will combine a short case based presentation and then convert to an interactive workshop approach to show how providing ACLS care to patients is different in small team scenarios. Stations will be set-up that demonstrate how different subsets of care can be managed when the medical team is small and operating in a remote location. The information will be valuable to all those who are currently performing ACLS in small teams or remote locations or plan to do so in the future. Highly recommended for DND PAs but also practical advice for all.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Recognize the limitations of providing ACLS care with a very small team.
2. Apply communication skills to solving issues with small team care.
3. Have hands on experience with some drugs and equipment.

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CHARCOT’S 3 AND REYNAUD’S 5 – ACUTE CHOLANGITIS IN THE ED

1300 – 1350

Sean Kelcey, CCPA

Description

Acute cholangitis is a serious infection of the biliary tree that can present in a number of ways, including sepsis. Early recognition and management are key to reducing morbidity and mortality from this illness.

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CASE REVIEWS OF SUBARACHNOID HEMORRHAGES

1400 – 1450

Franklin Marquez, CCPA, CPSNB, AAPA-F

Description

Three cases will be discussed on the management and treatment of a subarachnoid hemorrhage – from the young drunk driver to the geriatric on anticoagulation slip and fall. The difference between epidural, subdural and SAH will be overviewed to clearly understand the difference of intracranial bleeds.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Discriminate the differences between intracranial hemorrhages.
2. Distiguish the predictive value of the GCS when managing a SAH.
3. Differentiate the best diagnostic tools and treatment models for SAH.

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HIV PREVENTION

1500 – 1550

Robert Paxton PA-C, MPAS

Details TBC

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APPROACH TO A NECK MASS

1500 – 1550

Brittany Shupe, BA BHSc (PA), PGCert CCPA

Description

In this talk members will learn the basics on how to approach a neck mass from a patient’s first presentation, whether it is in the emergency department or general practice. In taking a history, audience members will learn how to recognize risk factors as well as what vital information is needed to direct the physical exam. Understand the approach to the physical exam as well as clinical pearls on specific presentations. Organize differential diagnosis to determine initial management and any further work-up needed. Recognize when, what and where to refer and gain a basic understanding and potential treatments by subspecialties.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Identify important findings on history and physical exam in relation to a new presentation of a neck mass.
2. Develop a comprehensive differential diagnosis regarding a patient with a neck mass.
3. Identify any further workup or treatment needed in the primary and emergency care setting.
4. Identify when, what and where to refer a patient with a neck mass.

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TREATING YOUR TRANSGENDER PATIENTS IN PRIMARY CARE

0900 – 0950

Josef Burwell, MS, PA-C and Colten Smith, MS, PA-C, Peacework Medical 

Description

Healthy transgender adults can seek relief for gender dysphoria through gender transition in primary care. With careful attention to existing protocols for diagnosis, informed consent, treatment plans, and labs for ongoing evaluation, safety and best practices are emphasized. Preventative measures for transgender adults will also be addressed. Quality measures for how to make a clinic more welcoming to gender and sexuality minorities will be included. The two presenters co-direct a clinic for transgender adults in the U.S.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Diagnose gender dysphoria.
2. Understand the informed consent process for hormone therapy vs. the behavioral therapy model.
3. Treat gender dysphoria with hormone therapy.
4. Provide sound preventative care for transgender individuals.
5. Make any clinic more welcoming to gender and sexuality minorities through language, action and awareness.

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How can I get credits for participating in committees?

For participating in certain committees, you may claim 15 credits per year per committee. The purpose or activity of the committee (working group, task force or similar title) must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. The committee must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference. It must also meet on a regular schedule.

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How will I receive my exam results?

The Pass/Fail results will be forwarded to each individual by registered mail unless email approval is provided at the time of writing.

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APPROACH TO NON-OPERATIVE MANAGEMENT OF KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS

0900 – 0950

Anne Dang, CCPA, BHSc. (PA), BHSc. (Hons)

Description

Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting Canadians; its prevalence is projected to grow to 20% by 2031.​1​ As the population ages and life expectancy continues to rise, the cost burden of osteoarthritis (OA) is expected to reach $7.6 billion, with expenses related to hospitalization, outpatient care, pharmaceuticals, alternative care and out-of-pocket fees. ​2​ Surgery is the most costly of these components, but patients typically undergo a period of nonoperative treatment, sometimes for years, before proceeding with surgery. Non-operative management of knee OA is a particularly challenging area for clinicians, as there are various treatment modalities and emerging therapies to select from, including medications (oral, topical, and injectable), braces, rehabilitation programs, self-management strategies and biological treatments. Additionally, there are numerous, sometimes conflicting, national and international practice guidelines (eg. AAOS, OARSI, AAC/CFPC, AAC) to navigate through. In this presentation, the case of a patient with symptomatic, moderate knee OA who is seeking nonoperative treatment of her chronic condition will be presented. We will briefly review anatomy and pathophysiology relevant to the knee and osteoarthritic disease. We will then discuss the various treatment modalities currently available in Canada and will present evidence for/against their use with regards to patient outcomes. Finally, a practical, summarized approach to non-operative management of knee OA will be presented and, with input from the audience, will apply this framework to the case to demonstrate its translation to clinical practice. Participants will receive a free patient education handout template on knee OA.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Inspect for abnormal anatomy and pathophysiology of the knee consistent with osteoarthritic disease.
2. Integrate management of various treatment modalities of knee osteoarthritis as currently available in Canada.
3. Correlate the evidence for and against the use of each investigation and treatment modality with regards to patient outcomes.
4. Manage a practical clinical approach for the non-operative management of knee osteoarthritis.

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FINDING YOUR FUNDING

0900 – 0950

Speaker and Details TBC

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What if I am not successful?

Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in the Policy and procedure document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam. The policy for the number of attempts takes effect immediately while the within a five year period will take effect after the 2014 PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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TRANSGENDER ISSUES

1030 – 1120

Speaker and Details TBC

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How can I get credits for all the research done for grant applications?

Any research and learning you do in relation to grant applications may be recorded as personal learning projects (PLPs) in Section 2: Planned Learning.

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COMMON CARDIOLOGY CONSULT QUESTIONS

1030 – 1120

Sunil Mankad, MD, FACC, FASE, FCCP

Description

This will be a case based presentation that will help answer common Cardiology questions such as the following: 1) What do I do with an elevated troponin in patients without ECG changes or symptoms? 2) How should I use the high-sensitivity troponin assay? 3) What do I do with my patient who has stress induced cardiomyopathy? 4) In patients with CAD preparing for noncardiac surgery, how do I stratify and reduce their risk?

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Manage the diagnostic evaluative approach of a patient with an elevated troponin.
2. Distinguish the underlying mechanism and treatment of stress induced cardiomyopathy.
3. Manage the diagnostic evaluative approach of a patient with cardiac risk factors undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

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Where can I report my participation in doing peer reviewing of journals and/or grant applications?

Participants who are actively engaged in the peer review process throughout the year for activities such as peer reviewing journal articles and reviewing research grant applications can submit this activity in Section 2: Systems Learning: Peer Assessment for 15 credits per year.

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What is the eligibility requirement to write the exam?

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
All candidates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Properly complete and sign the PACCC PA Cert Exam online registration form by the established deadline;
  • Be a member of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA); and
  • Meet the competency and/or experience as laid out in the eligibility criteria listed below.

ELIGIBILITY

To establish eligibility to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam all applicants must meet either of the following:

Be a graduate of a Canadian PA program previously accredited by the CMA

  • Requires validation of successful completion of a Canadian PA programs previously accredited by the CMA from the PA program.
  • New graduate’s first exam attempt must be made within the first three (3) years after graduation
  • Previously CMA accredited PA program graduates are eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a CMA accredited program; during that five (5) year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four (4) times, when either the fifth (5th) year or the fourth (4th) attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

OR

Be a graduate of an Accreditation Review Commission (ARC) program and certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistant (NCCPA)

  • Requires validation of successful completion of an ARC accredited US PA program and proof of current NCCPA membership.
  • NCCPA member number must be included on the registration form.
  • Must also declare if your name appears on the National Physicians Data Bank (NPDB) Report)

Even if you have earned a medical degree, you must still graduate from a CMA or ARC-PA accredited program to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

Trainees of a CMA accredited program may be eligible to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training program pending confirmation of completion of core competencies by the program. Canadian PA programs previously accredited by CMA with candidates registering to write the PACCC PA Cert Exam in the last two months of their training must provide PACCC with a list confirming the names of each enrolled student that has completed core competencies and are eligible to challenge the PACCC PA Cert Exam. Candidates whose names do not appear on the provided list will be redirected to their PA Program and their registration form will be refused. Should a candidate not be successful in graduating from their PA program, their PACCC PA Cert Exam results become null and void. Under no circumstances will these candidates be advised of their PACCC PA Cert Exam results prior to PACCC receiving confirmation of successful program completion.

PACCC will not waive any eligibility requirements

The PACCC Manager, Certification approves all applications for eligibility to sit the PACCC PA Cert Exam. If there is insufficient documentation to substantiate the certification requirements the application will be refused. All applications will be reviewed 30 days before the exam date. In the event of a refusal, a candidate can dispute the decision in writing within 2 weeks before the exam date. All written disputes will be referred to the PACCC for immediate review and consideration.

ONLINE PA CERT EXAM REGISTRATION
The online registration dates will be posted annually in the Exam Dates and Online Exam Registration sections under the PACCC logo on the CAPA Website. No registrations will be accepted after the posted close date. PACCC reserves the right to waive the registration deadline under extenuating circumstances however, PACCC decisions are final. Requests for late registrations must be submitted in writing to certification@capa-acam.ca.

IRREGULAR BEHAVIOUR
Any behaviour that threatens the integrity or security of the PA Cert Exam and the certification process is considered by PACCC to be irregular behaviour.  Irregular behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • making false representations on CAPA membership applications or falsifying supporting documentation;
  • altering or falsifying CCPA certificates or otherwise misrepresenting a certification status;
  • altering or falsifying PA Cert Exam performance reports;
  • seeking or having access to the PA Cert Exam materials before the PA Cert Exam is administered;
  • impersonating an examinee or engaging someone else to take the PA Cert Exam by proxy;
  • copying of the PA Cert Exam answers from someone else or allowing answers to be copied;
  • copying, memorizing and/or reproducing PA Cert Exam items for personal use or distribution;
  • purchasing or stealing any PA Cert Exam materials;
  • possessing unauthorized materials or equipment during the administration of a PA Cert Exam;
  • making a false or intentionally misleading report accusing others of irregular behaviour.

To help PACCC maintain the integrity and security of its certification process, anyone acting in good faith that has information or evidence that irregular behaviour has occurred is encouraged to submit a written, signed statement to PACCC detailing the incident and providing copies of any supporting evidence or documentation.

If PACCC determines that irregular behaviour has occurred, it may invalidate scores, suspend or revoke existing certifications, temporarily or permanently bar individuals from the PA Cert Exam, or may impose other sanctions or take other actions, as it deems appropriate, including legal action.

APPEAL PROCESS
Any candidate subject to an adverse decision by PACCC can submit an appeal (see Appeal Process document).
A failing score on the PACCC PA Cert Exam is NOT subject to appeal.
The following adverse decisions by PACCC (or delegated to its Manager, Certification) are subject to appeal.

  • Disciplinary action based on irregular behaviour of candidates as reported in writing to PACCC before, during or after a PA Cert Exam;
  • Disciplinary action based on fraudulent use of the CCPA credential;
  • Denial of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of eligibility to sit a PA Cert Exam;
  • Revocation of certification;
  • Other adverse action regarding the CCPA credential.

RE-CERTIFICATION
There is no requirement for re-certification. Canadian Certified Physician Assistant’s (CCPA) are required to maintain their proficiency through the tracking of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All CCPAs must be a regular or sustained member of CAPA and must track their CPD credits through the CPD Tracking Tool of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (the Royal College) MAINPORT ePortfolion login. Please review the PACCC CPD policy for non-compliance.

NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS AND RE-WRITES
Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria described in this document will be eligible to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam up to five years after successful completion of a previously CMA accredited program. During that five year period the exam may be taken a maximum of four times. When either the fifth year or the fourth attempt is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take the PACCC PA Cert Exam.

AGGREGATE DATA
Aggregate data (candidate names are removed) is provided to each previously CMA accredited program to provide the information required for the maintenance of  accreditation.

LIST OF CCPAs
All individuals who obtain the Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) designation are added to a list found under the PACCC logo on the CAPA website and choosing List of CCPAs. This list contains the names of all PAs that hold the CCPA designation from inception to the last completed PACCC PA Cert Exam.

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WORKING MULTIPLE JOBS

1130 – 1220

Speakers and Details TBC

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PSYCHIATRY

1130 – 1220

Speaker and Details TBC

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When is the next set of Certification Exams to be scheduled?

The exact dates, timings and actual location will be made available on the web site.

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PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT CLINICAL EDUCATION (P.A.C.E.): A RAPID REVIEW OF HIGH-YIELD PAEDIATRIC EMERGENCIES

1130 – 1220

Jordan Levinter, CCPA and Devin Singh, MD

Description

P.A.C.E. is a new clinical education program developed by the staff at SickKids. The goal of the program is to deliver high-quality, evidence-based paediatric education to Physician Assistants throughout Canada and beyond. Education is delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous on-line presentations.

This presentation will give a brief overview of the program and provide a rapid overview of 2 common paediatric emergency presentations with uncommon underlying pathologies. Participants will be walked through case presentations, learn to identify red flags, and review the management of these high-yield paediatric diagnoses.

The truly lethargic infant is a presentation that makes even experienced clinicians nervous. There are numerous reasons for this presentation, including infectious, non-accidental trauma, and intussusception. We will review a case based on a real patient encounter of an infant with intussusception. We will discuss pertinent history and physical exam findings, in addition to appropriate investigations and management.

Everyone has suffered a sore throat and fever. We know the common causes: viruses, streptococci, and mononucleosis, but what about when symptoms persist. We will review a case, based on a real patient encounter of a teenage with Lemierre’s Syndrome, also known as jugular vein suppurative thrombophlebitis. Pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management will be cover.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Understand the goals of the P.A.C.E. program and how to get involved.
2. Develop an approach to the listless infant.
3. Apply appropriate investigations and treatments to an infant with intussusception.
4. Describe the pathogenesis of Lemierre’s Syndrome.
5. Understand the investigations and emergent treatment of Lemierre’s Syndrome.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing a colleague’s practice?

You may record reviews that you do of your colleague’s practice under Section 2: Systems Learning): Peer Review and you will receive 15 credits for the year.

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CPAEA PREPARING FOR THE JOB INTERVIEW

1130 – 1220

Description

The University of Manitoba will provide an interactive demonstration and audience participation event.

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Where can I record the time I spend reviewing feedback that I received from colleagues/others related to my practice and/or my teaching?

If a colleague reviews your practice and provides feedback, the time spent on this activity, including any additional time you spend reviewing that feedback, can be recorded under Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment and you will receive 3 credits per hour. Reviewing feedback from your teaching sessions can also be reported in Section 3:Assessment: Practice Assessment.

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How do I get a replacement certificate?

A replacement certificate can be requested. There is a $50 charge to issue a replacement certificate due to name change, loss or other factors beyond CAPA’s control.

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UNPLANNED ONCOLOGY HOSPITALIZATIONS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN ONCOLOGY SERVICE IN A GENERAL MEDICINE PROGRAM

1330 – 1420

Kamshad Touri, MD, CCPA

Description

Oncology patients often have unpredictable and complex needs that require management within an acute care inpatient setting. Studies have demonstrated that due to a high burden of illness in particular malignancies hospitalization can be unavoidable despite even the most diligent ambulatory care. Unplanned oncology hospitalizations are defined as admissions for the management of a complication related to an underlying oncological disease or its treatment, or for symptom control or palliation. There is evidence that demonstrates that patients with advanced disease are more likely to have an unplanned hospitalization, and that these admissions are a marker of poor prognosis with a predicted median survival of less than 3 months following hospitalization. Unsurprisingly, as the incidence of cancer is increasing unplanned admission rates are also on the rise. Consequently, the traditional resources to care for this complex population of patients are being exhausted. Therefore, the development of innovative models of care to support this growing cohort is critical. In response to this need a specialized interdisciplinary team supported by a Physician Assistant was established within a general medicine service. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss how this new model provides quality improvement for oncology patients undergoing unplanned hospitalizations. The presentation will explore processes used to foster and streamline comprehensive oncology care within a general medicine program.

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CPAEA STUDENT WORKSHOP

1330 – 1500

Speakers TBC

Description

Representatives from all PA Programs will answer questions in an open format discussion.

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ACUTE PAINLESS VISION LOSS

1430 – 1520

Sahand Ensafi, B.H.Sc, CCPA

Description

Ophthalmologic complaints are often a dreaded complaint for numerous clinicians. This talk aims to provide a review and approach to several key conditions causing acute painless vision loss. Following this talk, the audience will hopefully become more comfortable in assessing one of these conditions when they come through their front door.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Differentiate between the most common etiologies causing acute ophthalmologic blindness.
2. Formulate a diagnostic and evaluative approach to acute painless vision loss.
3. Differentiate between the management of ophthalmologic conditions causing acute painless vision loss.

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Where can I record an online self-assessment program (SAP)?

Online self-assessment programs (SAP) do not automatically qualify for Section 3 credits in the MOC Program. All online self-assessment programs (SAP) must be reviewed and approved directly by a Royal College Accredited CPD Provider and if approved, would contain the Royal College accreditation statement. See a list of accredited Section 3 activities.

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HEALTH LITERACY AND PATIENT EDUCATION

1430 – 1520

Maitry Patel, CCPA

Details TBC

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I participated in a self-assessment program (SAP) not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio. Where do I record this activity?

If a SAP is not listed in MAINPORT ePortfolio, please contact us at: certification@capa-acam.ca to confirm its status. If it is not accredited by a Royal College CPD Accredited Provider, then you may choose to claim this activity as a personal learning project.

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CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

1430 – 1520

Sandra Bourgon, Certification Manager

 

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MANAGEMENT AND REHABILITATION OF MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES

1600 – 1650

Captain Amy Streeter, Physiotherapist  

Description

This presentation will discuss the management and rehabilitation of patients with mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI). The 2017 Concussion in Sport Group Consensus Statement states that treatment of individuals with post-concussion symptoms should be individualized and target specific medical, physical and psychosocial factors that are identified on assessment. This includes a targeted physiotherapy program. Pulling together the latest research on the management of this population, we will examine who would be appropriate for referral to physiotherapy and what you can expect from an assessment and treatment plan within the context of a case.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

1. Have a general understanding of the most recent guidelines for management of patient post- concussion;
2. Know when it is appropriate to refer patients to physiotherapy; and
3. Have an overall picture of what to expect from the rehabilitation team.

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CPAEA POSTER PRESENTATIONS

1600 – 1650

Speakers and Details TBC

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Can I apply extra credits (>400) earned in my current cycle towards my next cycle?

There is currently no provision to carry forward completed credits to a future MOC cycle and the completion of 400 credits is a minimum 5-year cycle requirement. MOC Program participants who achieve 400 credits before the end of their cycle are still required to complete at least 40 credits in each of the remaining years of their current cycle.

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CAF MEMBERS FORUM

1700 – 1750

 

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I work part-time. Do I need to complete the same number of credits as someone who is in full-time practice?

MOC Program participants who are in part-time practice are required to maintain their knowledge, skills, and competencies. There is a wide range of learning activities included within the MOC Program and the 400-credit requirement for a 5-year MOC cycle has been deemed to be reasonable and achievable for all participants.

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AWARDS GALA AND PRESIDENT’S DINNER

COCKTAILS 1900 – 1930

GALA COMMENCES 1930

  • REMARKS
  • AWARD PRESENTATIONS
  • POSTER WINNER PRESENTATIONS
  • DANCING WITH MUSIC PROVIDED BY DJ DADDY MAC

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What documentation do I need to provide when reporting learning activities supported or tracked by third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate and Dynamed?

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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What type of documentation do I need to keep for validation purposes?

MOC program participants should keep their supporting documentation for the duration of their current cycle. At this time, only the following activities may require supporting documentation for validation purposes:

  • Section 1: Group Learning (a certificate of attendance or certificate of completion from the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 2: Formal Courses and Traineeships (a certificate of completion of the course from the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 3: Accredited Self-Assessment Programs (a certificate of completion of the accredited self-assessment program by the sponsoring organization)
  • Section 3: Accredited Simulation Activities (confirmation of participation by the accredited simulation program or CPD provider organization).

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How long do I need to keep my supporting documentation?

You should keep your documentation for the duration of your current cycle. However, you may also wish to verify with your provincial regulatory body to confirm what their requirements are.

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Who is CAPA?

CAPA is the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants, a national professional organization that advocates for Physician Assistants (PAs) and represents its membership across Canada and globally. CAPA has established and maintains the national standard of practice for PAs, the Scope of Practice and National Competency Profile. It assists in providing the National Certification Process, the National PA Entry to Practice Certification Exam, and Registry for its members. CAPA’s goal is to provide efficacious health professionals to the Canadian public, and to foster the development of the profession in all provinces. By helping to develop educational programs and assisting legislators, CAPA ensures quality health provision for Canadians.

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What should I do if I cannot provide supporting documentation for a learning activity?

If your CPD activity is pending credit validation and you cannot provide the required supporting documentation, then the activity cannot be validated and the credits will not be applied to your MAINPORT ePortfolio credit summary.

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How can I submit my last year’s CPD activities if I’ve missed the January 31st deadline?

You may report past CPD activities within your current cycle through the process of credit validation. For specific questions, please contact the Manager, Certification 877-744-2272, 613-248-2272 or by email at certification@capa-acam.ca.

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What is the difference between “Reading” and “Bulk Reading” when reporting a Section 2: Self-Learning Activity?

The “Reading” category is to be used when you are recording your reflections on one self-learning activity, such as reading a journal article. If you are reporting on a number of journal articles read, please use the “Bulk” option.

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What is the difference between “Internet Searching” and “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” when reporting Section 2 internet searches conducted through third-party organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

Both options are valid when entering internet search activities conducted through a third-party organization (like Medscape, UpToDate or Dynamed). If you are entering just one activity choose “Internet Searching.” If you are entering more than one activity at once, choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript”. This selection will allow you to enter the total number of activities in bulk. For activities conducted with third-party organizations and submitted under the bulk option, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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Can I record activities done through organizations such as Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed in bulk?

Yes. As long as you have the proper documentation from the third-party organizations (certificate and transcript/list of activities), you can report these activities in bulk as follows:

  • Click on “Enter a CPD Activity”
  • Select Section 2: Self-Learning Activities
  • Choose “Bulk Online Reading/Scanning with Transcript” from the dropdown menu
  • Enter information for all required fields marked with red asterisks
  • Upload the certificate and transcript/list of activities provided by the third-party organization

Both the certificate and transcript/list must be provided in order for these activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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What is an Accredited Self-Assessment program?

Accredited Self-Assessment programs use brief, highly directed questions in structured formats, such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions, to elicit reliable constructed responses from participants to assess aspects of knowledge in defined domains. Feedback provides opportunities for participants to identify areas for improvement and future learning.

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What is Chart Audit and Feedback?

Chart audit and feedback is an assessment strategy that uses data recorded in a chart or electronic health record to assess the performance of an individual, group or team against one or more measures of performance. Chart audits can focus on process or outcomes of care provided to one or more patients. Feedback is provided to facilitate the identification of areas for future learning and improvement.

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What is Multi-Source Feedback?

Multi-source feedback uses standardized questionnaires to gather data from multiple observers across a range of CanMEDS-PA Roles. Physician assistants are provided with a summary of their performance across a set of behaviours in relation to their peers. Feedback provides an opportunity to identify areas of strength and improvement and set goals for future learning.

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What is Direct Observation?

Direct observation uses supervisors, colleagues or peers to observe a PA performing a regular professional activity to identify whether specific behaviours or competences were demonstrated. The observer provides feedback to the PA on what was, or was not, observed in order to assist the PA in identifying areas for improvement or enhancement.

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What is Feedback on Teaching?

Summaries or compilations of evaluations of teaching completed by students, residents, physicians, PAs or health professionals provide physician assistant educators evidence related to the effectiveness and impact of teaching. Reviewing these evaluations provides opportunities to identify areas for improvement within this dimension of professional practice.

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What is an Annual Performance Review?

Annual reviews provide physician assistants with an opportunity to reflect on past performance goals and establish plans for the coming year. Use the feedback provided by supervising physicians, peers, department/division chairs or chiefs of staff to set new goals or identify strategies for improvement or professional development.

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What is Practice Assessment?

Practice assessment is a comprehensive approach to reviewing a physician assistants’ practice to assess adherence to established professional practice standards across multiple CanMEDS-PA roles using multiple assessment strategies. Practice assessments are completed by trained peer assessors and may integrate a records review, interviews with colleagues or co-workers, direct observations of interactions with patients, and patient questionnaires to enable the development of a comprehensive report of the overall quality and safety of the practice with recommendations that serve as the basis for future learning and improvement.

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What is the Holding Area?

The Holding Area is an area of MAINPORT ePortfolio that contains activities that require some additional information before they are counted in the MOC credit system. There are three different types of activities that can exist in the Holding Area. The first is an Incomplete Activity. These are activities that have been partially entered into MAINPORT ePortfolio. The second type of activity that occurs in the Holding Area is activities that have been automatically sent to MAINPORT ePortfolio on your behalf. The final kinds of activity that can exist in the Holding Area are CPD activities that are awaiting credit validation.

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How do I enter my yearly hours for rounds in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

You can enter your yearly attendance at rounds either individually or as a “block” of hours. For example, if you attended 20 hours of rounds during the year, you may choose to record each round you attended separately or record it as one entry worth 20 credits in Section 1.

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I attended a 3-day conference. Do I need to report each day separately or can I record my overall attendance as one entry?

You may record your conference attendance as one entry and report the total hours attended. Please record the end date of the conference in MAINPORT ePortfolio.

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I completed a day course and submitted this under Section 2: Formal Course. MAINPORT ePortfolio automatically gives me 25 credits for this – how can I change the number of credits?

Formal courses are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g., a diploma program) or other educational organizations. They require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate. Formal Courses occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Examples of Formal Courses: Masters or PhD programs. Other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a section 1 accredited group learning activity where you would receive one credit per hour of participation.

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Is there a mobile app version of MAINPORT ePortfolio available?

Yes. iPhone users can download the MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app from the App Store. Android users can download the app from the Play Store.

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Can I record activities when not connected to the internet?

Yes, you can record activities when you are offline. Simply record the information as you normally would. As soon as you connect to a WiFi network, your MAINPORT ePortfolio account will be automatically updated.

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I have a Blackberry; can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

The app is not available for Blackberry users. However, if you have a Blackberry, you can access the MAINPORT ePortfolio mobile site from your device.

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I have an iPad. Can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

For the best MAINPORT ePortfolio user experience, we recommend that iPad users connect directly to MAINPORT ePortfolio rather than using the app.

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Why am I having problems downloading the MAINPORT ePortfolio app to my iPhone?

Please note that if you do not have the latest version of iOS installed on your Apple device, you will need to update it to the latest version.

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How do I know if my hospital round or journal club is accredited? Where and when can I get a record of attendance for these activities?

Rounds and journal clubs that are accredited will provide a Royal College accreditation statement on the advertisement for the event. You may also contact your Rounds Chair for further information and for an official record of attendance.

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Can you send me a list of accredited group learning CPD activities and/or accredited Self-Assessment Programs for my specialty?

You can find a list of CPD activities by specialty here. Please note that while the information provided is comprehensive, it does not necessarily represent all approved activities available for credit. For more information, please contact the Accredited CPD Providers directly.

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How are the CanMEDS-PA roles being promoted as a framework for lifelong learning in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

MAINPORT ePortfolio will support the link between learning and CanMEDS-PA in two ways. Each template will enable learners to link the portion of the group learning, self-learning or assessment activity that was linked to each CanMEDS-PA Role. In addition, the CPD planning tool in MAINPORT will support the link between specific goals and one or more CanMEDS-PR roles.

The MOC framework is intending to promote a competency-based approach to lifelong learning that is not just focused on knowledge (the traditional domain of the medical expert), but on multiple skills, competencies and abilities. CanMEDS-PA is an excellent example of a competency framework that is relevant to the planning and development of learning activities for practice. Currently, all accredited Royal College CPD provider organizations are required to develop needs assessment strategies that span multiple CanMEDS roles. Self-learning can be focused in any CanMEDS domain and although there are limited tools to assess performance across multiple CanMEDS roles the development of 360° assessments and other multi-source feedback strategies are becoming more common.

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How do I know if a conference held in Canada qualifies for Section 1 of the MOC Program?

In Canada, conferences, courses, workshops and seminars must be approved by an accredited CPD provider. Section 1 approval will be recognized by the following statement on program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider’s name].” (Please refer to the next question regarding the exception.)

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Where do I report my attendance at the CAPA conference?

The CAPA conference can be recorded as an accredited activity under Section 1 of the MOC Program. Unless otherwise stated in the program.

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I participated in a group learning activity approved for AMA PRA Category 1, AAPA Category 1, AAFP Prescribed or CFPC Mainpro/Mainpro+ Certified Group learning credits. Are these credits approved for MOC Section 1?

For PAs, group learning activities developed by the AMA PRA for Category 1, the AAPA for Category 1, the AAFP for Prescribed credits or the CFPC Mainpro+ Certified Group learning can be recorded as accredited activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program.

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Where can I report my attendance at a conference held outside of Canada or a conference held overseas?

All live conferences or live courses held outside of Canada can be reported as accredited group learning activities under Section 1 of the MOC Program if they are developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

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I attended an educational dinner event hosted by a pharmaceutical company. Where can I record these hours?

These hours cannot be claimed for credit within the MOC Program. However, this event may encourage you to continue your learning and develop a personal learning project (see PLP question).

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Can working or clinical rounds be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits?

No. In order for rounds, journal clubs or small group learning activities to be self-approved for MOC Section 1 credits, they must meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College. These standards include the establishment of a planning committee, the development of learning objectives based on a needs assessment conducted for the target audience, adherence to established ethical standards and the execution of an evaluation strategy of the rounds program. Typically, “working” or “clinical” rounds are not formal CPD activities, rather, they are bedside visits by a physician—or other health professional—to evaluate treatment, assess current course and document the patient’s progress or recuperation.

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Can morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits?

No. Morbidity and mortality (M&M) rounds cannot be accredited for MOC Section 3 credits because they typically review one patient/physician at a time. This is not considered feedback on performance in practice. A formal audit and feedback on a minimum of 10 patients is needed to be representative of one’s performance in practice. Morbidity and Mortality rounds are group-learning activities that can be included under Section 1: Group Learning: Rounds, assuming that they have been approved through the self-accreditation process of the Royal College.

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Where do I record a PhD or Master’s program?

PhD or Master’s programs can be submitted at 25 credits per course in Section 2 under Formal Course.

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What is a personal learning project (PLP) and how can I incorporate this into my learning plan?

A personal learning project (PLP) is a self-initiated learning activity that is stimulated by a question, issue or dilemma in your professional practice. For example, PLPs can be created based on updating your knowledge to prepare a presentation, further research after reading a journal article or after participating in a point-of-care activity. They can be inspired by any aspect of your professional practice (CanMEDS Roles) and are flexible and adaptable within any learning context.

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What is a traineeship and can you provide some examples of activities that would fit in this section?

Traineeships are structured learning activities designed to meet an identified professional need. Traineeships require the identification of learning objectives and a supervisor who will help you to plan learning activities that meet your learning objectives. The supervisor is also responsible for verifying that activities have been completed and can provide meaningful feedback on what was achieved. The final step required for all traineeships is the documentation of the learning outcomes that were identified for practice. Participation in activities such as PALS, NALS, ATLS, ACLS, and BLS, to name a few, are considered traineeships.

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Why are there different sub-types for personal learning project (PLP) under Section 2: Self-Learning Activities?

When reporting a PLP in MAINPORT ePortfolio, you must select a sub-type (from a drop-down menu) to clarify the reason behind the creation of your learning plan. This allows us to capture data about how you are using PLPs, which will in turn support future improvements to the MOC framework. The following sub-types are available within MAINPORT ePortfolio (each is eligible for 2 credits/hour):

  • Address clinical or academic questions
  • Preparation for formal teaching activities
  • Development of research activities
  • Address medical-professional administrative or systems related questions/issues
  • Other—Please describe the type of PLP

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Where do I record activities such as using Medscape, UpToDate, and Dynamed?

These activities are recorded in Section 2: Self-Learning Activities for 0.5 credits/activity. For activities conducted with third party organizations, both the certificate and transcript/list must be uploaded to MAINPORT ePortfolio in order for the activities to be applied to your MOC Program cycle.

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How can I get credits for reading journal articles, books, etc.?

Each journal article you read that you have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded in Section 2:Self-Learning: Reading or Bulk Reading). In addition, you may read journal articles and/or books with the specific objective of answering a question, issue, or problem you have identified in your professional practice. In this instance, this can be claimed in Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP) for 2 credits per hour.

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Can I claim MOC credits for teaching or giving presentations?

You may report the new learning acquired while preparing or researching for your teaching sessions or presentations under Section 2 as a personal learning project (PLP).

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Are Physician Assistants regulated through a college?

It is CAPA’s vision to eventually have all PAs regulated within Canada and registered with the Provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Regulation is handled differently in each province/territory.  In the provinces of Manitoba and New Brunswick, PAs are regulated through the Provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. In Alberta, PAs are registered through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. However, they are not regulated. In the province of Ontario, PAs work under Delegated Medical Acts and directions of their Physician.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 1: Group Learning?

In Canada, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Accredited conferences, courses, seminars, workshops, approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Some of these accredited group learning activities are listed on the Royal College website. Note that this is not an inclusive list therefore Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).
  • Other accredited conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops, held in Canada, but developed by an Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) – accredited physician organization (such as a university, academy, specialty society, hospital department);
  • Accredited web-based group learning activities approved by a Royal College accredited CPD provider. Section 1 accreditation is recognized when the following statement is on the program materials: “This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by (accredited provider’s name).”
  • Accredited hospital rounds, tumor boards, M&M rounds, journal clubs, and small group learning activities that meet the accreditation standards as defined by the Royal College, and have been registered at the Royal College (look for the accreditation statement which confirms MOC section 1 approval).

Outside Canada or overseas, participation as an attendee/learner in:

  • Live conferences, short duration courses, seminars, workshops that have been developed by a university, academy, college, academic institution or physician organization.

Participation in Section 1 unaccredited group learning activities = 0.5 credit per hour of participation (50 credits maximum per cycle).

Unaccredited activities:

  • Participation as a learner/attendee in unaccredited rounds, journal clubs or small-group activities which are in the process of meeting the educational and ethical standards, and/or rural or local conferences that have no industry sponsorship.

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Who are Physician Assistants and what do they do?

Physician Assistants (PA) are highly skilled health professionals who support physicians in all health care settings. In Canada, the PA role was developed within the Canadian Forces Health Services to provide a full spectrum of medical care. Within a formal Physician/Physician Assistant relationship, a PA has the skills and experience to deal with medical emergencies, specialty practice environments, as well as everyday health care needs. Depending on the agreement between the physician and the PA, activities may include conducting patient interviews, histories, physical examinations; performing selected diagnostic and therapeutic interventions; and counseling on preventive health care. The PA is a physician extender and not an independent practitioner; they work under the direction of supervising physicians within the client/patient-centered care team. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 2: Self-Learning?

 

  • PhD & Master’s Programs: can be submitted at 25 credits per course under Formal Course.
  • Other types of Formal Courses: participation as a learner in other types of formal courses is eligible for 25 credits per course (These are usually developed in collaboration with a university, community college, specialty (e.g. diploma program) or other educational organizations. These require a formal registration process and provide a transcript or certificate of completion. This type of course can lead to the achievement of a formal designation or certificate and usually occur over a period of time usually equivalent to one term at a university but not less than 6 weeks. Note that other courses that are shorter in duration are more typical of a Section 1 accredited group learning activity (provided it meets the section criteria) and would be submitted at one (1) credit per hour.
  • Participation as a learner in activities such as: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Advanced Life Support (NALS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and Basic Life Support (BLS) are eligible for two (2) credits per hour under Traineeship.
  • Activities such as doing additional research and acquiring new learning/knowledge while:
    • Addressing clinical or academic questions;
    • Doing research and preparation for formal teaching activities or presentations;
    • Doing research for the development and submission of a clinical scenario for inclusion in an oral examination or an MCQ or SAQ for a written examination;
    • Doing research for grant applications, writing a publication or article;
    • Addressing medical-professional administrative or systems-related questions;
    • Addressing other CanMEDS roles.

    The learning acquired during the research and preparation for these can be submitted as Personal Learning Projects (PLPs) where you will earn two (2) credits per hour.

  • Reading Journal Articles: For each journal article that you read and have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded individually and receive one (1) credit per article.
  • Listening/viewing podcasts, audiotapes, videotapes, and reviewing enduring materials or scanning the internet (such as Medscape, UpToDate, etc.) = 0.5 credit per topic searched.
  • InfoPoems = 0.25 per activity.
  • Certain committees are eligible for 15 credits per year/per committee. This can be submitted as a Quality Care/Patient Safety Committee activity. (Note that the purpose or activity of the committee – working group, task force or similar title – must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. They must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference and must also meet on a regular schedule.)
  • Developing clinical practice guidelines with your colleagues or participating in activities or groups that set clinical care standards for your hospital can earn you 20 credits per year
  • Developing Curriculum – at the undergraduate, postgraduate or professional practice level – can earn you 15 credits per year.
  • Examination process – for provincial or national certification processes or systems (such as setting the exam standards, being an examiner) can earn you 15 credits per year as an Examination Development activity.
  • Peer reviewing journal articles, reviewing research grant applications can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Creating assessment strategies or reviewing your peers or colleagues can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.
  • Other Systems Learning Activities such as Patient Safety Initiatives, Quality of Care initiatives, Clinical Performance Standard Setting Activities, Assessments strategies for learners or education programs, can earn you 15 credits for the year.

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Where do Physician Assistants practice?

In the Canadian Forces, Physician Assistants support supervising physicians with medical emergencies as well as everyday health care needs. In civilian practice, PAs work in primary care and specialty practice, in hospital and community care settings, and in physician employed settings.  care centers, and many other areas of Health Care. 79,000 PAs assist physicians in a variety of settings, including urban neighborhoods, rural communities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, the military and public health. About 50% work in primary care, with the balance in specialties including surgery, internal medicine and emergency care.

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What’s the difference between a PA and a physician?

Physician assistants are educated in the medical model; in some schools they attend many of the same classes as medical students. One of the main differences between PA education and physician education is not the core content of the curriculum, but the amount of time spent in formal education. In addition to time in school, physicians are required to do an internship, and complete a residency in a specialty following that. PAs do not have to undertake an internship or residency.

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What is the PACCC doing to ensure that PAs are maintaining their CPD?

PACCC will be using an audit process in that members will be selected randomly and they will be asked to submit documentation supporting Mainpro credits.

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What will Physician Assistants mean for patients?

The PA role is designed to provide Canadians with improved access to appropriate health care providers, with the goal of improved patient satisfaction and patient care. Importantly, the literature demonstrates that PAs are effective providers when measured against patient safety, quality of care, and productivity. Physician Assistants make a significant contribution to the health care system wherever they are found.

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What is the working relationship between a physician and a physician assistant?

The relationship between a PA and the supervising physician is one of mutual trust and respect. The physician assistant is a representative of the physician, treating the patient in the style and manner developed and directed by the supervising physician. The physician and PA practice as members of a medical team.

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What formal education do Physician Assistants have?

Accredited PA education programs are available in Canada and in the United States. There are currently four accredited PA education programs in Canada. These programs are accredited through the Canadian Medical Association Conjoint Accreditation process. The accredited programs are: the Canadian Forces Medical Services School, the University of Manitoba, and McMaster University and the PA Consortium (University of Toronto, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Michener Institute for Education at UHN). Education in these programs focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of disease, differential diagnosis determination, and treatment plan development. The programs includes one year of clinical rotation in areas such as emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, orthopedics, sports medicine, general surgery, urology, anesthesia, trauma team and family practice. The University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg offers a graduate degree program, while McMaster University in Hamilton and the PA Consortium offer an undergraduate program of Science Physician Assistant. All accredited PAEP will allow graduates to challenge the Canadian PA Entry to Practice Certification Examination.

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What does “CCPA” stand for? What does the “CC” mean?

The designation Canadian Certified Physician Assistant or CCPA means that the person who holds the title has met the defined course of study and has undergone testing by the Physician Assistant Certification Council of Canada (PACCC). The PACCC is an independent Council of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA) that administers and maintains the PA certification process. The Certification Council consists of various members of the medical community that represent a number of different viewpoints and concerns as well as those of Physician Assistants.

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What types of activities can I report in Section 3: Assessment?

  • Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback.
  • Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other type of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3.
  • Do you write peer reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3 for 3 credits per hour.
  • Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance based assessments? That can also be claimed for Section 3.
  • The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on our website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.
  • The CMPA also has accredited medico-legal self-assessment programs available on their website.
  • A list of all accredited self-assessment programs is available on the Royal College website.

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What about liability insurance for Physician Assistants?

Willis Insurance currently offers liability insurance for Certified Physician Assistants (Canadian or US) who are members of CAPA. In some jurisdictions PAs are covered under the employer’s comprehensive general liability insurance. The Canadian Medical Protective Association provides professional liability protection to those physicians who supervise and work with PAs.

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How do I become a Physician Assistant?

At present there are four Physician Assistant Education Programs (PAEP) in Canada:  the Canadian Forces Medical Services School, the University of Manitoba, McMaster University, and the PA Consortium (University of Toronto, Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Michener Institute of Applied Sciences). PAEP includes one year of didactic classroom medical education and 12-14 months of clinical exposure and rotations at hospitals and medical clinics throughout Canada. All programs meet the same standard and apply for accreditation from the Canadian Medical Association’s Conjoint Accreditation Services.

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How did the Physician Assistant profession begin?

In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage and uneven distribution of primary care physicians. To expand the delivery of quality medical care, Dr. Eugene Stead of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina put together the first class of PAs in 1965. He selected Navy corpsmen who received considerable medical training during their military service but who had no comparable civilian employment. He based the curriculum of the PA program, in part, on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II.

In Canada, Physician Assistants evolved from Sick Berth Attendants of the Navy, and Medical Technicians with advanced responsibility in the military. They had extensive training and with formal education expanded their role to meet the needs of the services in all the different environments the Canadian Forces Served.

For more information about the history of the PA profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistant’s PA History Center web page. www.pahx.org

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Does becoming a Physician Assistant makes it easier to become a doctor?

Physician Assistants want to be Physician Assistants. There is no short cut and no stepping stone from the Physician Assistant profession to that of a physician, in the same way that there are no shortcuts to becoming a PA.

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Can Physician Assistants safely deliver health care?

Yes. Canadian Forces PAs have been providing care safely in Canada and abroad for many years. The United States has over 40 years of successful integration of PAs in the health workforce. Studies of PAs practicing in other countries indicate that the in-hospital mortality rate of patients who were treated by PAs is no different from the rates associated with other health professionals. There is also no difference in incidence of drug reactions, medical errors, or complications, or need for additional medical interventions when care is delivered by PAs.

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Are Physician Assistants replacing any other providers?

No. PAs work to enhance the practice and the lifestyle of the entire medical team. They are integral to the team, and supplement, not supplant the work of physicians. PAs work within inter-professional teams that might include nurses, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, physicians, and other providers. Every health professional serving patients brings unique qualities and experiences to the work they do, and does so in collaboration with the rest of the care team.

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What are the consequences of failing to meet the established CPD requirements?

Failure to complete the CPD requirements may result in the forfeiture of the privilege to use the CCPA designation.

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General Questions

Is there a mobile app version of MAINPORT ePortfolio available?

Yes. iPhone users can download the MAINPORT ePortfolio Mobile app from the App Store. Android users can download the app from the Play Store.

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Can I record activities when not connected to the internet?

Yes, you can record activities when you are offline. Simply record the information as you normally would. As soon as you connect to a WiFi network, your MAINPORT ePortfolio account will be automatically updated.

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I have a Blackberry; can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

The app is not available for Blackberry users. However, if you have a Blackberry, you can access the MAINPORT ePortfolio mobile site from your device.

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I have an iPad. Can I download the MAINPORT ePortfolio app?

For the best MAINPORT ePortfolio user experience, we recommend that iPad users connect directly to MAINPORT ePortfolio rather than using the app.

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Why am I having problems downloading the MAINPORT ePortfolio app to my iPhone?

Please note that if you do not have the latest version of iOS installed on your Apple device, you will need to update it to the latest version.

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How do I know if my hospital round or journal club is accredited? Where and when can I get a record of attendance for these activities?

Rounds and journal clubs that are accredited will provide a Royal College accreditation statement on the advertisement for the event. You may also contact your Rounds Chair for further information and for an official record of attendance.

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Can you send me a list of accredited group learning CPD activities and/or accredited Self-Assessment Programs for my specialty?

You can find a list of CPD activities by specialty here. Please note that while the information provided is comprehensive, it does not necessarily represent all approved activities available for credit. For more information, please contact the Accredited CPD Providers directly.

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How are the CanMEDS-PA roles being promoted as a framework for lifelong learning in MAINPORT ePortfolio?

MAINPORT ePortfolio will support the link between learning and CanMEDS-PA in two ways. Each template will enable learners to link the portion of the group learning, self-learning or assessment activity that was linked to each CanMEDS-PA Role. In addition, the CPD planning tool in MAINPORT will support the link between specific goals and one or more CanMEDS-PR roles.

The MOC framework is intending to promote a competency-based approach to lifelong learning that is not just focused on knowledge (the traditional domain of the medical expert), but on multiple skills, competencies and abilities. CanMEDS-PA is an excellent example of a competency framework that is relevant to the planning and development of learning activities for practice. Currently, all accredited Royal College CPD provider organizations are required to develop needs assessment strategies that span multiple CanMEDS roles. Self-learning can be focused in any CanMEDS domain and although there are limited tools to assess performance across multiple CanMEDS roles the development of 360° assessments and other multi-source feedback strategies are becoming more common.

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