The Third Department determined the appellant, who graduated from a medical school in Antigua (AUA) but was not licensed in New York, was not entitled to a license to practice in New York as a Physician’s Assistant (PA):
In processing his application, SED [NYS Department of Education] requested documentation from petitioner that he had graduated from a PA education program and passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (hereinafter PANCE). Petitioner, who had not satisfied either requirement, objected to providing those credentials, asserting that his medical doctorate education and successful completion of all four steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (hereinafter USMLE) qualified him for a PA license. * * *
The record supports a finding that, despite significant overlap in basic topics tested in the USMLE and the PANCE, the PANCE specifically tests PA-related practice topics. Noting that professional exam questions “must be closely aligned with the specific knowledge and skills needed in the practice of the profession,” SED concluded that, “[w]hile many of the broad medical content categories included on the PANCE can be found on the USMLE, the USMLE does not present them within the context of the PA profession and specific PA job tasks” and, additionally, “a portion of the PANCE covers topics related specifically to PA professional practice, which are not covered at all on the USMLE.” Matter of Hammonds v New York State Educ. Dept., 2022 NY Slip Op 03959, Third Dept 6-16-22
Practice Point: The topics tested by the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) are not identical to the topics tested by the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Therefore passing the USMLE did not entitle this applicant to licensure as a physician’s assistant in New York.