New Psychiatry CAQ Qbank Just Launched for PA-Cs

September 6, 2019
Reviewed By: Amy Rontal
The Psychiatry CAQ Qbank is best suited for PA-Cs who want to demonstrate their advanced expertise in Psychiatry by earning a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ).

According to the NCCPA, PA-Cs who have earned a CAQ have experienced the following:

  • Over 75% found or anticipate finding a new job
  • Over 40% successfully sought a promotion
  • 60% achieved or expect to increase their job responsibilities
  • Over 50% received or anticipate receiving a pay increase, and 33% received a cash bonus
  • Over 75% found the CAQ useful in documenting qualifications required for external accreditation
  • Over 33% achieved or anticipate a broadening of their eligibility for reimbursement
  • Almost 75% have received greater recognition or regard from physicians or other health care professionals
  • 66% reported greater respect or acceptance from patients
The Psychiatry Specialty Exam

(Taken from NCCPA website)

Once PAs have satisfied other requirements for the Psychiatry CAQ, they can apply for the Psychiatry Specialty Exam—120 multiple-choice questions related to psychiatry targeted for PAs with experience in the practice of that specialty. It will be based on the Content Blueprint, developed using data gathered during the 2009–2015 PA Practice Analysis conducted by NCCPA.

Maintaining the Psychiatry CAQ

(Taken from NCCPA website)

The Psychiatry CAQ awarded to successful candidates will be valid for 10 years. To maintain the CAQ beyond that timeframe, PAs must continue to meet the same PA-C and licensure requirements required of those seeking the CAQ for the first time, pass the Psychiatry Specialty Exam before the expiration of the current CAQ, and—during the 10-year CAQ cycle—earn and log at least 125 credits of Category 1 CME focused on the specialty. Those CME credits may also be used to satisfy the CME requirement for maintenance of the PA-C credential.

Here’s an example of a question and explanation in the Psychiatry CAQ Qbank:

A 69-year-old man recently retired from working 40 years in the construction industry. His last day of work was one month ago, and ever since then, he has been acting differently towards his friends and family. His wife reports that he is irritable and detached. He spends much of his time outside the home at the gym or the coffee shop. He states that he misses his friends at work and the sense of accomplishment he used to have at the end of each day. He has not had any changes in his sleep, weight, or energy levels. He denies any suicidal ideation. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

A. Acute stress disorder
B. Adjustment disorder
C. Generalized anxiety disorder
D. Major depressive disorder

Answer B

This patient has symptoms consistent with adjustment disorder, a set of behavioral or emotional symptoms that develop within the first three months after the onset of an identifiable stressor. The associated distress will be out of proportion to the actual stressor or will cause significant life impairment. Symptoms should not continue for more than six months after resolution of the stressor or its ramifications. Examples of stressors include marital distress, a natural disaster, major developmental steps such as getting married, and the end of a romantic relationship. Adjustment disorders may manifest as changes in social relationships or impaired performance at school and work. Adjustment disorder is not the same as normal bereavement. Patients with adjustment disorders have a higher risk of attempting and completing suicide. Approximately 5–20% of patients undergoing outpatient mental health treatment have a primary diagnosis of adjustment disorder.

Adjustment disorder

Acute stress disorder (A) occurs after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event and is characterized by intrusion symptoms, avoidance of stimuli associated with the event, alterations in mood and cognition, and alterations in arousal. While patients with generalized anxiety disorder (C) may experience irritability, the diagnosis requires additional symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, and muscle tension. This patient does not meet the criteria for major depressive disorder (D), which include depressed mood, change in sleep habits, change in weight, fatigue, psychomotor changes, decreased concentration, thoughts of worthlessness or guilt, suicidal ideation or thoughts of death, and anhedonia.

One Step Further question:
Which individuals are more at risk for developing adjustment disorder?

Patients from disadvantaged circumstances with many life stressors.

The Psychiatry CAQ joins Rosh Review’s other CAQ Qbanks, including Emergency Medicine CAQ, Hospital Medicine CAQ,  and Pediatrics CAQ. In addition, you can earn 100 AMA PRA Category 1 CE credits by completing the Qbank.

Study on,
The Rosh Review Team

By Adam Rosh


Get a little more clarification

How do I prepare for my CAQ exam?
First, learn about the eligibility requirements on the NCCPA website.

To study for your 120-question exam, follow similar methods that were successful for you for the PANCE or PANRE. If you're using a Qbank, try targeting your "unknown unknowns"—you can learn more about this method in the article How to Boost Your PANCE or PANRE Score (it's relevant to CAQs, too!)
Where can I find free PANRE practice questions?
You can access free practice questions with a free trial for the PANRE Qbank—no billing information required. The free trial includes practice questions that align with the PANRE blueprint and include comprehensive answer explanations and beautiful teaching images.

After practicing with these questions, if you decide you're ready for thousands of additional questions to help you confidently prep for the PANRE, you can easily upgrade to a full Qbank subscription.
How do I study for the PANRE when I work in a specialized field?
According to a 2004 study, PAs in specialized practice areas have similar PANRE pass rates. So regardless of your area of practice, your chances of passing a generalized exam like the PANRE are still high. Just make sure you closely review the PANRE Content Blueprint topics. For example, if you practice in dermatology, note that only 6% of the exam covers the dermatologic system. The five topics that make up 51% of the PANRE are cardiovascular (13%), GI (11%), pulmonary (10%), musculoskeletal (9%), and EENT (8%), so pay attention to the order of importance of these topics when you’re studying. And here's how you can use Rosh Review to target specific categories when you study.

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