A female doctor having a writing board in her hand and a male doctor is looking into it

A New Focus

Physician assistants re-certifying in 2019 and beyond will be taking a redesigned PANRE. The NCCPA recently revealed their blueprint for the revamped recertification exam. The changes take into account the results of an industry-wide survey put out by the NCCPA. The NCCPA survey asked practicing physician assistants what they believed PAs need to know.

PAs were tired of studying rare, unseen conditions for the purpose of a test! The new iPANRE focuses on core medical knowledge that assists physician assistants in their practice, no matter the field of medicine they practice in. Questions are written by certified PAs to be clinically applicable, not to trick you..

Understanding the PANRE

Level-Based Assessment

The PANRE is designed to assess your knowledge as a PA using a level-based system that
mimics how you practice medicine.

The NCCPA defines Level 1 diseases and disorders as conditions that PAs need to “recognize most likely diagnosis using signs, symptoms and risks, [and] refer appropriately.” In a clinical situation, you would need to diagnose a Level 1 disorder and get the right help. This level of knowledge will be reflected on the PANCE.

Level 2 diseases require PAs to “make appropriate diagnosis by recognizing signs, symptoms, risks and/or interpreting results of diagnostic studies, and have knowledge of first-line treatment.” You may still need to request assistance, but you would establish basic treatment before doing so. The disorders classified as Level 2 demand a deeper knowledge in clinical settings, so they’ll also be covered more thoroughly on the PANCE in 2019.

When presented with a Level 3 condition, PAs must “make appropriate diagnosis by recognizing signs, symptoms, risks and/or interpreting results of diagnostic studies and have knowledge of first-line treatment. In addition, [PAs will also] have knowledge required to manage well-known comorbid conditions, contraindications, and complications.”

There are just a handful of diseases and disorders that require PAs to have a deep working knowledge. Unlike previous recertification exams, these Level 3 conditions are the only diseases and disorders that will be covered in-depth on the iPANRE.

A smiling doctor with tablet in his hand

Professional Practice Issues

To create a recertification exam that more closely aligns with clinical applications, the NCCPA also added a section to the PANRE focused on professional practice issues. This section addresses legal and ethical questions and makes up just 2% of questions.

Study Materials for Your iPANRE

We’re so excited about the changes to the PANRE that we’re calling it the iPANRE, or Innovative PANRE. We can’t wait to help you prepare.

The modified blueprint design for the PANRE makes it possible for you to study more efficiently and effectively. You no longer need to prepare for in-depth questions on diseases and disorders that you don’t see as a PA. Instead, you’ll be reviewing information that truly makes you better at your job!

Helping You Prepare

Study Materials


We’ll cover the most important updates to the PANRE format and topics on our iPANRE podcast.

Maximize your mind with John Bielinski, Jr. PA-C.

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Stay up to date with our blog! We’ve organized the topics you need to know by both assessment level and content area to help you prepare for your recertification exam with valuable content.

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Live Conferences

Attend a live board review course to get the most out of our active engagement learning methods. We’ll help you learn deeply and apply what you’ve learned clinically on your PANRE.

Conference Schedule

Prerecorded Videos

Enjoy the benefits of our live conferences without traveling using our prerecorded videos. Study for the PANRE on your own schedule, using our in-depth knowledge of the changes to the exam

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Do you still have questions about the new PANRE? Our team is here to help you adequately prepare to
become a more efficient medical professional. Contact us
using the form below and we will contact you promptly.