Happy White Coat


Post Graduation Checklist

Excellent… You’ve made it through 2 LONG years of PA school and passed your boards (yay!)

Now what?  I remember being SO consumed with graduation and boards that after that was completed I had what I like to call a total “duh” moment— like what comes next?  (Assuming you have a job– if not that will be covered as well!)

Take boards. Pass Boards.

Spoken in caveman voice.  You have to wait 7 days after your posted graduation date to take boards.  However, you are eligible to register for boards 90 days before your graduation date.  I highly recommend sitting for your boards ASAP.

Apply for a state license wherever you plan on getting a job.

I believe you can apply for more than one at a time if your job search is open.  This is your cheap application–thirty something dollars if I remember correctly. Needs renewed every 2 years.

Apply for an NPI #

I had no idea this was a thing before I graduated.  It’s free and you just go on to the website and apply.  It’s a long ass number that you don’t have to write it on prescriptions.  Get a small pocket book to keep all important numbers and expiration dates. NPI Application.

CAQH Data Query

I also didn’t know this was a thing before my first job either.  It’s supposed to eliminate all duplicate paperwork with credentialing.  I don’t think it helps.  But, at least its something that is a pain in the ass and free.  Website here

DEA License

All the narcotics.  Kidding kidding.  You have to have all of the above and then you can apply for your DEA.  The funny thing is that it is without a doubt the quickest of all the licenses.  Kind of scary, but after you give them your $731 (which your job should cover) you pretty much have a DEA the next day. Your application goes to the national DEA and then your local office handles everything  else.  Needs renewed every 2 years.


Nothing can prepare you for the wait you are about to experience for credentialing if you are working in hospitals.  I’m not even going to go into detail here.

Professional Organization Memberships

You will get a FLOOD of mail and e-mails regarding joining professional organizations.  I chose only to join AAPA at this time.  As soon as you graduate they will offer you a discounted fellow rate.  I enrolled right away because every year after that as long as you maintain membership it offers you discounts on a lot of other memberships, CME and even free CME activities. Oh I also did NEJM Journal watch!

Logging CME

For some reason I was super stressed about how to do this.  It’s easy and you do it through the NCCPA website.  Every 2 years you log and pay whatever the fee is to maintain your license.

Helpful Hint: Get a folder of some sorts to keep all of this stuff in order.  Whenever you change jobs you will need it all again.  I have a file folder that I keep my stuff I need for credentialing as well as proof of CME credits.