Saturday, 23 May 2015

My first NPPA conference

Hello y’all I’ve been quiet on the blog scene as of late. I’m thinking I’ve gotten comfortable not having deadlines (ie. studying for tests, papers) and have taken a bit of hiatus from writing and been relaxing at home :P. I recently went to an NPPA conference and I wanted to briefly write about my experience.

Inside Mayo Clinic

For PAs in Canada, there aren’t many conferences directed for PAs (except for the CAPA conference which I encourage everyone to attend this Oct. :P).  During work my supervising physician showed me the many conferences that are offered in the states. There is also a requirement as a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant (CCPA) to keep up with continuing professional development (CPD) credits, called Mainpro credits. There are three types of Main pro credits (Don’t worry I’m still very confused to what activity goes where but the tracking website offers explanation to where to add what) 

Mainpro M1Mainpro-Accredited Programs and Events (Incl. Quebec Category 1 credits and Hospital Rounds) 

Mainpro M2Non-Mainpro-Accredited Programs and Events (e.g. AMA, ACEP, RCPSC credits) – This is where American conferences go. 

Mainpro C – Pre-accredited Mainpro C credits and Self-directed learning

***Certified physician assistants are required to have a minimum of 25 CPD credits a year with a total of 250 CPD credits in a 5 year cycle.

I attended the 7th Annual Hospital Medicine for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants (NPPAs) Ran by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. 

Day 1 – Drove 8.5 hours to Rochester, MN from Winnipeg

Day 2 – Skills Lab

Reviewed basic suturing – very well run and organized.

Reviewed how to use ultrasound and practiced procedures including, cardiac ultrasound, thoracentesis, LP, paracentesis and vascular ultrasound.

Day 3 – Attended Great lectures pertaining to hospital medicine.
Updates in VTE, Drug Disasters, Geriatric Pearls for the Hospitalist, Leukemia/Lemphoma Updates, Palliative Care Pearls 

Day 4 – More great lectures

Acute abdomen, Ebola epidemic Update, Neurology Pearls, Management of GI Bleeds, Antibiotics 101, Inpatient Heart Failure, Acute Renal Failure,

Attended appetizers /music/ art gallery

Day 5 – And more lectures..

Diabetes for the NPPA Hospitalist, Sepsis, 5 codes, Oncology for the non-oncologist, dermatology, lab medicine emergencies, Complications of Hospitalizations

Last day at the conference. Two more lectures left. Took pictures for my blog but looks like most people left :P  

All the lectures were well organized and the lecturers were well spoken. They had an app (iphone, or adroid) which provided the PowerPoint lectures and allowed you to write notes. They also had interactive Q&As during the session. (Like the iclicker for those of you who went to U of M :P )

There was also copious amounts of food!!

The best part was networking and learning how hospitals incorporate PAs and NPs in the practice. There were about 200 PAs/NPs who attended the conference from all over the states. (I think I was the only Canadian) But it was great to see so many people doing the same thing as I do.

I encourage any Canadian PA who has the opportunity to attend a conference in the states. I’m hoping one day to attend the AAPA conference. It is great to learn what other PAs are doing. Conferences are also a great way to learn new things and to review the basics.


  1. Hello, my name is Noel. I just graduated from high-school and have been contemplating on what I want to do for the rest of my life. I've search far and wide for an in-depth description on the process of becoming a PA. I stumbled upon your blog recently and have been "binge reading" since then. I just want to thank you for posting your journey. It's help me really contemplate on my decision in becoming a PA. Anyway, have a great day! : )

  2. Thanks Noel. I'm glad I can help :)

  3. I must say - Pretty Impressive! I will surely come back every time a new post is published. Keep up the good work that you are doing.