Physician Assistant CAQ in Emergency Medicine Review

Med-Challenger PA CAQ: EM

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Med-Challenger PA CAQ: EM is the highest quality, easiest to use, and most-trusted Physician Assistant Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Emergency Medicine exam review question bank for the shelf exam, PA CAQ in EM Certification exam and NCCPA Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and knowledge improvement suite for physician assistants. Med-Challenger’s physician assisant CAQ review course is 100% pass-guaranteed and provides over 2000 case-based Q&A following the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants(NCCPA) exam blueprint, media banks, and ongoing content updates.

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in Med-Challenger PA CAQ: EM Physician Assistant Added Qualifications in EM Exam Review Qbank

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Board-style Questions

Physician Assistant CAQ in EM Question Topics

NCCPA publishes a content blueprint of the material that will appear on the exam.

This is how we determine which material appears in your adaptive Qbank.

Abdominal & Gastrointestinal Disorders10%
Cardiovascular Disorders11%
Dermatologic Disorders2%
Endocrine, Metabolic & Nutritional Disorders4%
Environmental Disorders2%
Head, Ear, Eye, Nose & Throat Disorders5%
Hematologic Disorders2%
Immune System Disorders2%
Systemic Infectious Disorders6%
Musculoskeletal Disorders (Nontraumatic)5%
Nervous System Disorders5%
Obstetrics And Gynecology5%
Psychobehavioral Disorders3%
Renal And Urogenital Disorders3%
Pulmonary Disorders9%
Toxicologic Disorders4%
Traumatic Disorders12%
Procedures & Skills7%
Other Components3%

High-Yield PA CAQ: EM Review Questions

NBME-style, blueprint-based Q&A.
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A 50-year-old woman presents with left arm tingling and slurred speech for approximately 30 minutes today. Her vital signs are: blood pressure 135/85 mm Hg, pulse 110 beats/minute, respiratory rate 16 breaths/minute (irregular), temperature 37 °C, and oxygen saturation 99% on room air. On examination, you note that her symptoms have completely resolved. Electrocardiography results are shown in the Figure.

Figure 1

Findings on computed tomography of her head are normal. She is not aware of any heart problems and takes no medications.

Appropriate neuroprotective management would consist of which of the following?

Clear Answer Options

A question’s difficulty is defined by the choice of distractors. Good distractors determine the difficulty level of a question. Therefore, good distractors are one of the most important features of a high quality question.

Start aspirin
Start heparin
Start an oral anticoagulant (eg, warfarin, dabigatran, apixaban, rivaroxaban)
Start dipyridamole

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Educational Objective:

Describe different therapeutic options for patients with certain risk factors.


After a cerebral ischemic event that does not require fibrinolysis or endovascular therapy, patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) or other cardioembolic risk factors (eg, artificial valves) receive different treatment than patients without cardioembolic risk factors.

In its 2014 update of guidelines for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation, the American Academy of Neurology recommends routinely offering oral anticoagulation with warfarin, dabigatran, apixaban, or rivaroxaban–rather than aspirin–to patients with nonvalvular AF if they are at acceptably low risk (eg, common-sense risks such as aortic dissection, recent surgery) for hemorrhagic complications.

Studies have shown that anticoagulants are more effective than aspirin in reducing the incidence of cardioembolic events in patients with AF and a history of a cerebral embolic event. By contrast, aspirin remains the primary treatment in patients at risk for stroke who do not have AF or other cardioembolic risk factors.

In patients with AF and who have contraindications to oral anticoagulants, aspirin 325 mg daily remains the second choice.

If oral anticoagulation is indicated after an ischemic event, then therapy should be immediately started. In patients with AF or other cardioembolic risk factors, studies have shown that there is no advantage in delaying anticoagulation after either transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. The common fear of causing hemorrhage into a previously infarcted area is misplaced; there is a far greater risk of further embolism to the cerebral circulation if treatment is withheld.

Full anticoagulation with heparin is no longer recommended for patients with AF and TIA that has completely resolved (as in this patient). Heparin continues to be indicated on a case-to-case basis for slow-to-resolve TIAs, recurrent TIAs, and for patients with proven vertebral or carotid artery dissections. Guidelines published on AF in 2011 of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (unchanged from 2014) state:

“Full-intensity parenteral anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin or low-molecular-weight heparinoids is not recommended for patients with extracranial cerebrovascular atherosclerosis who develop transient cerebral ischemia or acute ischemic stroke.” (Level of evidence B)

It is important to note that some institutions bridge with enoxaparin, for example, during the start-up phase of warfarin after TIA; however, this practice is not supported or addressed in current guidelines.


Brott TG, Halperin JL, Abbara S, et al; 2011 ASA/ACCF/AHA/AANN/AANS/ACR/ASNR/CNS/SAIP/SCAI/SIR/SNIS/SVM/SVS guideline on the management of patients with extracranial carotid and vertebral artery disease: executive summary. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2013;81(1):E76-E123.
Bushnell C, McCullough LD, Awad IA, et al; American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; Council for High Blood Pressure Research. Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(5):1545-1588.
Crocco TJ, Goldstein JN. Stroke. In: Marx JA, et al, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed., 2014:1363-1374.
Meschia JF, Bushnell C, Boden-Albala B, et al; American Heart Association Stroke Council; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology; Council on Hypertension. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(12):3754-3832.

Table of Contents

Everything you need to know for PA CAQ: EM exams.

Abdominal Pain
Back Pain
Chest Pain I, II
Coma and Altered Mental Status I, II, III
Dizziness and Vertigo
Fever in the Adult Patient
Gastrointestinal Bleeding
Headache I, II
Nausea and Vomiting
Neutropenic Fever
Pelvic Pain: Acute
Sleep Disorders
Vaginal Bleeding
Anorectal Disease
Diverticular Disease
Esophageal Disorders, Miscellaneous
Esophageal Varices
Esophagus, Stomach, and Duodenum
Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases
Gastroenteritis I, II
Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies
Gastrointestinal Perforation
Hepatic Encephalopathy
Hepatitis I, II
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Intestinal Obstruction
Large Intestine: Acute Disorders
Liver and Biliary Tract: Acute Disorders
Meckel’s Diverticulum
Mesenteric Ischemia
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Pseudomembranous Enterocolitis
Small Intestine: Acute Disorders
Ulcerative Colitis
Cardiac Failure: Congestive State/Cor Pulmonale I, II
Circulation Disorders: Aortic Aneurysms
Circulation Disorders: Aortic Dissection
Circulation Disorders: Hypertension – Emergency Management
Circulation Disorders: Peripheral Vascular Disease I, II
Coronary Syndromes: Acute I, II
Dysrhythmia: Antiarrhythmic Pharmacology
Dysrhythmia: Basic Concept – Cardiac Dysrhythmias
Dysrhythmia: Conduction Disorders I, II
Dysrhythmia: Implantable Devices
Dysrhythmia: Supraventricular Dysrhythmias
Dysrhythmia: Ventricular Dysrhythmias
Pericarditis/Pericardial Tamponade (Non-Traumatic)
Valvular Heart Disease – Emergency Management
Alcoholic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Hyperosmolar Coma
Lactic Acidosis
Thyroid and Adrenal Disorders
Electrical and Lightning Injuries
Heat-Related Illnesses
High Altitude Disorders
Radiation Emergencies
Scuba Diving and Dysbarism
Venomous Animal Injuries – Arthropods
Venomous Animal Injuries – Marine
Venomous Animal Injuries – Reptiles
Hypothermia – Accidental
Eye: Assessment
Eye: Glaucoma
Eye: Inflammation and Infection
Eye: Pharmacology
Eye: Vascular Disorders
Nose: Infections and Inflammations
Oral Cavity: Medical Disorders
Otologic Infections
Otologic Signs, Symptoms, Presentations
Throat and Soft Tissue Neck: Medical Disorders
Amyloidosis, Systemic
Anemia, Polycythemia, and White Blood Cell Disorders
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
Hemostasis Disorders I, II
Sickle Cell Disease
Allergic Reactions
Allergy, Hypersensitivity, and Anaphylaxis
Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis
Raynaud Phenomenon
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
The Immunocompromised Patient
Bacterial Infections – Bone and Joint Infections
Bacterial Infections – Deep Soft Tissues
Disorders of the Spine
Tendinopathy, Bursitis, and Overuse Syndromes
Brain and Cranial Nerve Disorders
Central Nervous System Infections
Cerebrovascular Accidents – Epidemiology, Presentation
Cerebrovascular Accidents – Treatment
Cerebrovascular Accidents – Preventive Care
Cerebrovascular Accidents – Initial Work-Up
Dementia: General
Myasthenia Gravis
Neurologic Assessment I, II
Neuromuscular Disorders
Organic Brain Syndrome
Peripheral Nerve Disorders
Seizures I, II
Spinal Cord Disorders
Electronic Health Records and Health Information Technology
Evidence-Based Medicine: General
Guidelines in Emergency Medicine
Information Technology in Medicine
Interpreting Medical Literature
Medical Error Prevention I, II
Occupational Medicine and Occupational Health in the Emergency Department
Physician Stress and Wellbeing
Risk Prevention
Social Role of Emergency Medicine
Wellness, Stress, and the Impaired Physician
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Bullous Pemphigoid
Capillary Hemangioma
Cutaneous Larva Migrans
Cutaneous Ulcers
Dermatitis, Allergic Contact
Dermatitis, Seborrheic
Dermatophyte Infections
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Eczema Herpeticum
Eczema, Dyshidrotic
Eczema, Xerotic
Eczematous Disorders
Erythema Multiforme
Erythema Nodosum
Factitious Skin Ulcer
Herpes Simplex
Herpes Zoster
Insect Bites
Keratosis, Seborrheic
Malignant Melanoma
Pediculosis Pubis
Pemphigus Vulgaris
Pityriasis Rosea
Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis
Purpura Fulminans
Skin Abscess
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Sweet’s Syndrome
Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
Verruca Vulgaris (Warts)

Chronic Medical Illness During Pregnancy I, II
Ectopic Pregnancy
Gynecological Assessment
Invasive Procedures in Pregnancy
Labor and Delivery and Their Complications
Obstetric Critical Care
Ovarian Cysts
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Postpartum Hemorrhage
Pregnancy: Acute Complications
Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes
Sexually Transmitted Infections: Female Genital Lesions
Sexually Transmitted Infections: Vaginal Discharge
Substance Abuse in Pregnancy
Addiction Medicine
Adolescents: Sexual Abuse
Affective Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Dissociative Disorders
Elder Abuse
Elder Mistreatment
Emergency Psychiatric Evaluation
Factitious Disorders and Malingering
Personality Disorders
Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Disorders
Sexual Assault
Somatoform Disorders
Suicidal Behavior
Thought Disorders
Violent Behavior
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Asthma I, II
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Children
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Pediatric Respiratory Emergencies: Disease of the Lungs I, II
Pediatric Respiratory Emergencies: Lower Airway Obstruction
Pediatric Respiratory Emergencies: Upper Airway Obstruction and Infections
Pleural Effusion I, II
Pneumonia I, II, III, IV, V
Pulmonary Abscess
Pulmonary Embolism I, II, III
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Nephropathy, Contrast Induced
Penis Problems
Renal Failure: Acute
Renal Failure: Chronic
Renal Transplantation
Sexually Transmitted Infections – Male Genital Lesions/Infections
Testicular Problems
Urinary Retention
Urinary Tract Infection
Urological Assessment
Bacterial Infections – Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus
Bacterial Infections – Meningococcemia, Pneumococcemia
Bacterial Infections – MRSA, VRE, ESBL
Bacterial Infections – Pediatric I, II
Tuberculosis – Bacterial Infections
Parasitic Infections
Parasitic Infections – Pediatric
Sepsis Syndromes
Systemic Fungal Infections
Systemic Fungal Infections – Pediatric
Tick-Borne Illnesses
Tick-Borne Illnesses – Pediatric
Viral Infections – Hantavirus
HIV and AIDS – Viral Infections
Viral Infections – Influenza, Mononucleosis, Herpes
Viral Infections – Pediatric
Rabies – Viral Infections
Acetaminophen Toxicity
Antibiotics Toxicity and Side Effects
Anticholinergics Toxicity
Anticonvulsant Toxicity
Antidepressants Toxicity (inc. Serotonin Syndrome) I, II
Antipsychotics Toxicity
Aspirin and NSAIDs Toxicity
Bronchodilator Toxicity
Cardiovascular Drug Toxicity
Cocaine and Other Sympathomimetics Toxicity
General Approach to the Poisoned Patient
Hallucinogen Toxicity
Heavy Metal Toxicity
Hydrocarbon Toxicity
Inhaled Toxins
Lithium Toxicity
Opiate Toxicity
Pesticide Toxicity (incl. Organophosphates)
Sedatives and Hypnotics Toxicity (incl. Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines)
Toxic Alcohols
Toxic Plant Ingestions (incl. Mushrooms)
Burns – Chemical
Burns – Thermal
EENT Trauma: Eye
EENT Trauma: Nose
EENT Trauma: Oral-Dental
EENT Trauma: Otologic
Geriatric Trauma
Mammalian Bite Wounds (Including Humans)
Orthopedic Injuries: Ankle and Foot
Orthopedic Injuries: Cervical Spine
Orthopedic Injuries: Femur and Hip
Orthopedic Injuries: Hand I, II
Orthopedic Injuries: Humerus and Elbow
Orthopedic Injuries: Knee and Lower Leg
Orthopedic Injuries: Shoulder
Orthopedic Injuries: Wrist and Forearm I, II
Peripheral Vascular Injury
Trauma in Pregnancy
Trauma: Abdominal I, II
Trauma: Assessment and Stabilization I, II
Trauma: Face
Trauma: Foreign Bodies
Trauma: Genitourinary I, II, III
Trauma: Head
Trauma: Multiple and Blast Injuries
Trauma: Pelvic
Trauma: Soft Tissue Neck I, II
Trauma: Spinal Cord
Trauma: Thoracic – Cardiovascular Injuries I, II
Trauma: Thoracic – Chest Wall
Trauma: Thoracic – Esophageal Injuries
Trauma: Thoracic – Pulmonary Injuries
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Advanced Trauma Life Support
Neonatal Life Support
Pediatric Life Support
Resuscitation: Acid-Base Disorders I, II, III
Resuscitation: Airway I, II, III
Resuscitation: Arterial Cannulation
Resuscitation: Brain
Resuscitation: Cardiopulmonary I, II
Resuscitation: Electrolyte Disturbances I, II
Resuscitation: Fluids and Electrolytes I, II, III, IV, V
Resuscitation: Intravenous Catheterization
Resuscitation: Swan-Ganz Catheter
Resuscitation: Ventilation
Medical Ethics I, II
Medical Law I, II
Non-Healing Wounds
Office Surgery: General
Postoperative Complications
Procedural Sedation: Adult
Procedural Sedation: Pediatric
Wound Management I, II, III, IV
End of Life Care: Acute Care
The Dying Patient: General
The Dying Patient: Pain Control
Establishing Rapport
Fundamentals of Culturally Competent Care
Interviewing Techniques
Issues Related to Adolescence
Psychosocial Crises Intervention
Relationship-Centered Care
Speaking of Culturally Competent Care
Structuring Culturally Competent Care
The Combative Patient
The Developmentally and Physically Disabled Patient: Acute Care
The Difficult Patient
Youth, Gangs, and Violence

Written and Maintained by Experts

Continually Updated
All content is continually maintained by clinical expert peer-review.

Chief Editors:

Andrea Cecilia Eberly, MD, M.S., FAAEM

Mark E. Deutchman, MD, FAAFP
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Director, Advanced Training Track
Director, Rural Health Track
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Denver, CO

Contributing Authors:

Kathleen K. Aiello, MD, FAAP
Ambler Pediatrics
Ambler, PA

Jennifer Amani, MD
Attending Physician
MBI Occupational Healthcare
Phoenix, AZ

David Auerbach, MD
Attending Physician
Montgomery Radiology Associates
Pottstown, PA

Kelly Bradley-Dodds, MD, FAAP
Program Director, Pediatric Residency
Attending Physician – Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine
Crozer-Chester Medical Center
Upland, PA

Gina Chung, MD
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Internal Medicine, Section of Medical Oncology
Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, CT

Adam Cohen, MD
Depatment of Oncology
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Salt Lake City, UT

Michael Anthony Darracq, MD, MPH
Emergency Physician
Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Southern California
San Diego, CA

Michael France, MD
Emergency Room Physician
Memorial Hospital of Carbon County
Rawlins, WY

Arthur Frazzano, MD, FAAFP
Founding Director, Area Health Education Center of RI Network
Director, Division of Health Policy and Advocacy and Associated
Fellowship Program
Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Warren Alpert Medical School
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

Gerard Kiernan, MD
Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic
Keene, NH

Daniel Hayes, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
West Linn, OR

Michael J. Hodgman, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Upstate New York Poison Center
Syracuse, NY

Jassin M. Jouria, Jr., MD
University of Miami
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Miami, FL

Alex Kadner, PhD
Medical Writer/Scientific Consultant, Neuroscience
Ballston Spa, NY

Miguel G. Madariaga, MD, MSc, FACP, DLSHTM
Director, Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine
Physician, Infectious Disease
Doylestown Hospital
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Jeanna M. Marraffa, Pharm.D., DABAT
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Clinical Toxicologist
Upstate New York Poison Center
Syracuse, NY

Luis A. Mojicar, MD
Center for Living Well Clinic
Orlando, FL

George Smolinksi III, MD
Major, Medical Corps, U.S. Army
Physical Medicine Clinic
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
Landstuhl, Germany

Richard Snyder, DO
Integrative Medicine Practitioner
LeHigh Valley Nephrology Associates

Rodrigo Tanchanco, MD, FACP
Christiana Medical Group
Newark, DE

Pranav Virmani, MD
Dept. of Emergency Medicine
Inova Loudoun Hospital and Medical Center
Leesburg, VA

Tricia A. Walters, MD
Family Medicine w/ Obstetrics
Wyatt, IN

Mary Wilson, MD
Emergency Medicine Physician
Mercy Hospital
Coon Rapids, MN

Cezary Wojcik, MD, PhD
Deaconess Hospital
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Indiana University School of Medicine
Evansville, IN

Melissa Wolf, MD
Bozeman Deaconess Women’s Specialists
Bozeman, MT

Sean Wormuth, MD
Emergency Medicine Physician
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
Vallejo, CA

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  • Renew access to ALL PURCHASED ACCOUNT ASSETS for only $199/yr
  • Content updates and annual subscription product additions FREE with active Premium Membership
  • Time-saving adaptive learning engine prioritizes missed and yet-to-be-seen content
  • Automatic prescriptive remediation guidance targets weak areas
  • Ready-made blueprint-based exams
  • Create your own custom exams!
  • Find and earn CME credits within assets quickly
  • Easy CME certificate production
  • Dashboards
  • Analytics & Reports
  • Free weekly Quick Quiz game with new content and peer leaderboards
  • Fully responsive for use on all devices
  • Free customer support

72 hour free trial available

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How It Works

Your account. Your assets. Your abilities.

Med-Challenger works for both practicing clinicians, clinician educators, and quality directors by providing a singularly efficient and effective system of knowledge review, exam prep, and recurring career requirement fulfillment adaptable to any learning environment or objective.

How it Works
  • Connector.

    1. Create your account

    A single account to hold your assets. Get one free.

  • Connector.

    2. Add assets

    One-time purchase your exam review and MOC requirements.

  • Connector.

    3. Get it done – your way.

    The abilities – the adaptive tools, career utilities, and benefits.

And by the way….
Med-Challenger also works for PA Group Education.

Add group education resources and education management controls to your PA training program or clinical PA group.

Request Program Trial

Schedule a live walk-through of our group education platform.

Request Trial