New Graduate Info Sheet

For PA’s Practicing with an M.D. as your Supervising and Substitute Supervising Physicians:

  1. Under Section 13.2 of the Pennsylvania State regulations governing practice as a new graduate, a graduate of a Physician Assistant Program recognized by the board may register with the board and practice only under the direct supervision of a physician until certified. Direct supervision requires that the physician be in the same facility while the GPA is practicing.
  2. You may register yourself and your supervising physician and substitute supervising physicians with the State Board of Medicine (SBM).
  3. You may not legally practice/work as a graduate PA until you have received approval of your application and the supervising physician’s application from the State Board of Medicine. The entire process may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

YOU CANNOT BE EMPLOYED AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT UNTIL THIS PROCESS IS COMPLETE. IT IS A FELONY TO PRACTICE MEDICINE WITHOUT A LICENSE.

  1. The title “Graduate Physician Assistant” or abbreviated “GPA” only shall be used until certification is obtained.
  2. As a Graduate PA (GPA) in Pennsylvania you must practice under the direct supervision of an approved physician until you receive full certification. (Full certification equals successful national board completion (NCCPA exam) and notification from the SBM.
  3. Direct supervision of a graduate PA is defined as the supervising physician must be physically present in the same facility while the GPA is practicing.
  4. You MAY NOT prescribe or dispense any drugs on your own until certification has been completed and your PA and physician agreements (which include a listing of the drug classes you will not be allowed to prescribe in accordance with the law) are approved by the State Board of Medicine.

GRADUATE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT IS UNABLE TO OBTAIN A TEMPORARY PERMIT TO PRACTICE UNDER A DOCTOR OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE (D.O.). A GPA MUST WAIT TO BE CERTIFIED BEFORE BEGINNING THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE STATE BOARD OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE.

Please also note this additional step!!!

Once you have passed your national certification exam:
In order to receive your permanent certification as a PA in the state of Pennsylvania, Login to nccpa.net, follow the “Credentialing Information Release” and NCCPA will send a letter of verification to whomever you request. This procedure must be followed in order to be legally registered in the state of Pennsylvania. Requests should be sent or faxed to:

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
(NCCPA)
12000 Findley Rd
Suite 200
Duluth, GA 30097
678-417-8100

Join the PSPA

Also, if you haven’t already joined the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) now is a good time to do it. One of the major functions of the PSPA is to keep abreast of legislative changes, practice issues, etc. and to provide its members with the information needed.