Dr. Barrett’s Blog: Role of Orthopedic PA’s in 2019

Dr. Barrett’s Blog: Role of Orthopedic PA’s in 2019

William P. Barrett, MD

In the evolving healthcare environment, the role of Physician Assistants is rapidly expanding. In our practice, PAs evaluate new, follow-up and post-op patients. They provide a valuable link between the patient and the surgeon. They take a lead role in ensuring the optimization of patients prior to surgery, patient-specific coordination of intraoperative needs/equipment/components, assist with surgery and manage patients in the hospital and our ASC.

The educational requirements for PAs are a graduate or doctorate degree as a physician assistant which includes didactic, clinical and surgical training which can span over 6-8 years. Once this is complete the PA is required to successfully pass a certification board exam which covers all the medical disciplines not just Orthopedics to earn the “C” following their PA initials. In an endeavor to maintain the highest level of current medical knowledge, the PA is required to successfully pass a recertification board exam again covering all medical disciplines every 10 years to maintain their certification and medical license. This is what makes them unique in our current health care delivery system. The other unique qualifier is that PAs have sought to maintain a partnership with physicians in the support of their practice. All of our PAs have this baseline medical knowledge in addition to the Orthopedic specific and in some cases Orthopedic subspecialty training. It is a pleasure to work closely with our physician assistants to give the highest quality care to our patients.

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