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Failed PANRE Rates & The NCCPA

John Bielinski, MS PA-C By March 7, 2015January 5th, 20169 Comments
Failed PANRE  Rates & The NCCPA

I am very concerned about the failed PANRE numbers in 2015. Folks who have “failed PANRE” grades have been contacting the CME4LIFE board review team in record high numbers. I have emailed the NCCPA, offering to assist in the review process of the PANRE. Here is their response:

“… we appreciate your interest in and concern about the recertification process. Be assured that we are aware of the concerns that you have raised. This month we are launching a practice analysis survey. That is a large-scale (profession-wide) survey that we conduct every 5-7 years to gauge what PAs are doing day-to-day in practice. The results of that practice analysis inform changes to the content blueprints for our exams, which in turn drives the item (question) development process. In addition, this year we will use the survey results and other data to inform a holistic review of the recertification process during which we will consider a range of things, including feedback from examinees of the sort you have offered in your messages and would like to expand upon in the meeting you have requested.”

Ragan Cohn, CAE
Vice President, Governance & Communications
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

I have tremendous respect for the NCCPA and their commitment to our profession. We are in a turbulent time with the changes in our profession. I believe in the NCCPA and am confident there will be solutions that are effective.


  • Nancy mcbride says:

    I recently took the panre and failed for my first time ever. This was my 3rd time to take the test. The questions were not at all a measure of my knowledge! Truely disappointed in the content of the exam!

  • John Frank says:

    I also took PANRE in August 2015 and failed after taking the review the 5 day course with CME Resources and scored high passing calculated scores with review tests. This process is extremely expensive. Another disappointed PA.

  • michael williams says:

    took the panre 2 1/2 months ago after taking recert class and studying my ass off. my training is peds and it is what i have practiced for 30 years. failed by 3 points. 376 and 379 was passing. will be retaking the exam in 2 weeks and retook the recert class (2nd time was free)…some consolation. what a waste of time. money and stress. where is the proof that taking and passing a test where 60% or so is the average grade proves anything other than a phtographic memory. mostly hospitalist questions were the norm. lots of zebra questions. in this day and age the test should be about what we do and if we are found deficient then cme would be in order. not taking away our cert. and therefore jobs. i’m surprsed a class action suit has not been begun, due to all the hardship this unproven exam has caused. how much lifetime income for a pa who loses their income for 20,30, or more years. it is sad that one might have to rely on lawyers due to nccpa not having any common sense. my wife is an np and does not have to deal with this foolishness. are they lessor practitioners because of this??
    enough ranting. i do have accomidations on the next one. wish me luck. mw

    • chris stephenson says:

      I agree. Internist questions galore. I failed and now have 90 days to take again. I have been a PA for 18 years. I thought they didn’t care about general knowledge, but rather were looking for specific lab findings etc. I see now why the AAPA is looking to break away. I feel it’s undue stress for PA’s who have practicing and are practicing in a capacity that is certainly ok for employers. It seems they may have lost sight of the meaning of the art of medicine.

  • Kris says:

    I just took the exam for the 4th time in my career and will be absolutely shocked if I passed this time despite months of studying (including practice tests via NCCPA) and over two decades in the profession. It was ridiculously complicated, at times redundant and in no way a reflection of my abilities or knowledge. Some of the photos were so blurry you couldn’t even see what you were supposed to be diagnosing. I don’t know many MD’s who could have passed the test. I’m preparing myself emotionally to have to do this all over again but am also seriously pondering a career change as are many of my colleagues. There is time for LOGICAL reform!

  • nccpa go away says:

    I have been practicing in orthopedic surgery for 27 years. The past 18 years with the same surgeon. I’ve failed the panre again. On the most recent attempt my score was 376 which was 3 points short of the 379 passing requirement. My surgeon asked me a very obvious question, why do you need to know all this detailed information about other specialties when I don’t need to know this information. How does this help me as an orthopedic surgeon? Good question because now that I’ve lost my certification I’ve lost my liscense and permission (not ability) to practice in the state of Kentucky. One more correct answer on the test I’m competent, liscensed ,not losing my job, or my home. So the answer to the question above is, Dr. this test doesn’t make me a better orthopedic pa, it COST you a competent, experienced pa who has no recourse but to retake the panre or leave the profession. Anyone else in my boat?

  • Frank says:

    I totally agree. It is sad. this is my second time taking the Panre and failed by 10 points.

  • Rick says:

    Took Panre 1 week (2016 August) ago, did great on practice questions, paid study program, did very well with their questions also. Passed last two Panre’s with no problem. This test was way to subclinical in other areas, not general knowledge questions at all. Very dissappointed in this test format. If they are trying to elimate many P.A.’s,
    they sure did a good job.

  • Staci says:

    Wow….Just took the PANRE yesterday. Have read about the complaints prior to taking the test, but honestly, didn’t know what all the ‘hoopla’ was about, as I have studied appropriately and passed 3 times prior. Now I get it!!! I’ll be shocked if I passed. Prepared the same as I always have, but the test I took is in to way going to measure my knowledge or the competency of someone practicing in a sub specialty for 19 yrs. I can now say that I am on board for change. I believe in recertification, but appropriate testing of clinical knowledge in a way that actually tests our knowledge is absolutely necessary. I could have studied full time for 2 more weeks and wouldn’t have even touched on the things I am sure that I missed. Very sad to see this is what has become of the process.

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