San Antonio physician assistant earns emergency medicine specialty credential

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 30, 2014) – Ryan Bierle, PA-C, a physician assistant at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, is one of only 108 certified physician assistants nationally to recently earn a specialty credential called a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Bierle earned a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Emergency Medicine. This credential is earned by meeting licensure, education and experience requirements and then passing an exam. He is one of only 36 certified PAs in Texas and 530 PAs nationally to earn a CAQ since the program’s inception in 2011.

James Cannon, D.H.A., PA-C, NCCPA board chairman, said the demand for certified PAs in the era of health care reform is skyrocketing.

“The CAQ validates, in an objective way, a certified PA’s understanding and experience in a specialty area. It is good news for the public as these PAs are doing over and above what is required for state licensure by earning this valuable credential. It is also good news for physician specialists who are likely to appreciate PAs who go the extra mile to expand their skills, adding value to the practice with a clinician who holds both primary care and specialty certificates,” Cannon said.

Bruce Adams, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, said, “We are very proud of PA Ryan Bierle’s accomplishment. Dedicated physician assistants like Ryan have served and will continue to serve a key and integral role in emergency medicine since the beginning of our specialty, most especially here at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.”

According to the NCCPA, certified PAs are licensed and certified health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. They bring a breadth of knowledge and skills to patient care. Though their role in any particular workplace is determined in consultation with the supervising physician, certified PAs can take histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventative health care, assist in surgery, perform a variety of procedures and write prescriptions.

For more information about certified PAs or the CAQ program, visit To learn more about the physician assistant program at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, call 210-567-6220 or toll-free 866-802-6288 or email


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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