Saturday, April 13, 2024

Physician Assistants In Orthopedic Surgery

How Do Pas And Physicians Work Together

Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship

In Virginia, PAs are required to practice under the supervision of a physician, but theyre qualified to make diagnoses and treatment plans independently. PA training stresses a collaborative, patient-centered approach to medicine. They spend time with patients and work cooperatively with the physicians in their office to provide excellent care. Adding PAs to a medical practice creates a team dynamic thats a win for patients and providers alike, helping the office run smoothly and avoid long wait times for appointments.

What Is A Physician Assistant

A PA is a medical provider who gets extensive medical training through an accredited three-year Physician Assistant program. Theyre not doctors but fulfill many of the same roles as MDs. PAs can diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans and prescribe medications. While they cant perform surgery, PAs can and do perform many non-surgical procedures.

According to the American Academy of PAs, physician assistants must have a bachelors degree and then complete a masters degree level program to earn certification. PAs go through a rigorous 27-month program modeled on a medical school curriculum. Students take classroom courses in basic medical sciences, behavioral sciences, and behavioral ethics. They also complete 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, including family medicine, internal medicine, and other specialties. PAs must pass a certification exam to practice. Youll usually see PA-C after a physicians assistants namejust as youd see MD after a doctors. The C means that theyre certified by the National Commission of Certification of PAs.

What Midlevel Providers Do

We looked at the average orthopaedic physician assistant annual salary and compared it with the average of a midlevel provider. Generally speaking, midlevel providers receive $65,545 lower pay than orthopaedic physician assistants per year.

While their salaries may differ, one common ground between orthopaedic physician assistants and midlevel providers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like patient care, surgery, and diagnostic tests.

These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. An orthopaedic physician assistant responsibility is more likely to require skills like “ankle,” “evaluates,” “sports medicine,” and “epic.” Whereas a midlevel provider requires skills like “emergency room setting,” “hypertension,” “copd,” and “assess needs.” Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

The education levels that midlevel providers earn is a bit different than that of orthopaedic physician assistants. In particular, midlevel providers are 9.2% more likely to graduate with a Master’s Degree than an orthopaedic physician assistant. Additionally, they’re 7.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

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Does My Orthopaedics Practice Offer Pa Services

Countryside Orthopaedics is thrilled to have three top-notch PAs on staff. Our highly skilled PAs provide a range of in-office procedures and work as a team with our physicians and therapists to offer the best patient care. Their presence on staff also means its easier to get an appointment at our busy practice. Were proud that weve created a truly collaborative environmentwith patients at the center of everything we do.

What Are The Duties Of A Pain Management Physician

Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant Fellowship (OSPAF)  New England ...

Pain management physicians are medical doctors who diagnose and coordinate treatment while providing care for patients who are experiencing pain. By understanding the physiology of pain, these physicians are required to conduct specialized tests to diagnose complex pain conditions as well as prescribe proper medications and therapies to treat them. They must observe their patients for their ability to function and overall quality of life. Pain management physicians must also work with other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, physiatrists, and nurses to meet all the needs of their patients.

The next role we’re going to look at is the pain management physician profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $40,764 higher salary than orthopaedic physician assistants per year.

A similarity between the two careers of orthopaedic physician assistants and pain management physicians are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like “patient care,” “surgery,” and “epic. “

On the topic of education, pain management physicians earn lower levels of education than orthopaedic physician assistants. In general, they’re 17.0% less likely to graduate with a Master’s Degree and 7.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

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The Role Of Physician Assistants In Orthopedics

Dr. Alpha: Im thinking about hiring a PAyou know, a physicians assistant, a physician extender, an orthopedic physicians assistant.

Dr. Beta: We have several PAs in our practice. You should know about the terminology thoughphysician extender is not the term used these daysand do you know what they do?

Dr. Alpha probably does not know what physician assistants do. If Dr. Beta does in fact know, then he or she is ahead of the game. Orthopedists and others in the field are usually unfamiliar with the role of PAs in orthopedic practices, says Roderick Hooker, Ph.D., PA, who works with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Hooker explains, A major part of the confusion about PAs working in orthopedics surrounds the terminology used by physicians to describe them.

There are technicians who call themselves orthopedic PAs , and then there are the formally trained PAs who work in an orthopedic setting. While both groups have orthopedic in the title, and each may refer to themselves as OPAs, their training and skill sets are quite different.

Individuals trained in orthopedic assistant programs learn technical orthopedic tasks, but are not taught the basic medical sciences that are emphasized by the certified primary care PA programs.

Dr. Charles Cornell, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, knows that if the future is anything like the past, then Dr. Hooker is right on target.

Become A Certified Opa

Certification for OPAs can be obtained through the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Physician Assistants. Candidates can take the certification exam only if they have the requisite experience and the appropriate academic qualification.

The 75-question test is available at computer-based testing centers and must be completed within two hours. The exam covers specific conditions of the musculoskeletal system and corresponding treatment options. Anatomy and physiology, physical examination procedures, orthopedic history, laboratory studies, and imaging studies are also featured on the exam. Candidates can prepare for the exam by taking an online practice test offered by the NBCOPA and checking out the NBCOPA Resource Study Guide Reference List.

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Professional Certification For Physician Assistants In Orthopedic Surgery

The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants offers the certificate of added qualifications program in Orthopedic Surgery for physician assistants that want to achieve recognition for their specialty skills and knowledge in this area of medicine.

To qualify to take the Orthopedic Surgery CAQ specialty exam and earn certification in orthopedic surgery, candidates must:

  • Possess a PA-C designation and a valid, unrestricted licensed to practice as a physician assistant in at least one U.S. jurisdiction
  • Possess at least two years of experience
  • Possess a Category I specialty CME
  • Submit attestation from a supervising physician that indicates that they have performed the following procedures and patient management relevant to the practice and/or they understand how and when to perform the procedures:
  • Anesthesia
  • Prevention, recognition, management of common orthopedic complications/conditions

Working In The Shoulder Centre

Natalie Nelson, PA-C Orthopedic Surgery in Ames, Iowa | McFarland Clinic

Our Orthopedic team has developed a new model of care called the Shoulder Centre. This is a big addition to my skill set, in addition to inpatient care and consultations. Gratefully, I have been assisting in the development and implementation of the Shoulder Centre Program. We have 6 providers at our Ajax/Pickering Shoulder Centre with 1 champion Medical Doctor in Port Perry. Shoulder care is very underserved in our communities. There is a gap between primary care practitioners and Orthopaedic specialists, in terms of shoulder treatment. Specifically when we need to see patients and what we need from primary care practitioners. Often times there are so many patients in the community that suffer for years with shoulder pain and bounce back and forth between x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs and doctors without any sound diagnosis or treatment plan.

Our surgeons created an Intelligent e-referral tool so we can obtain the information we need from primary care to triage the patient to the right provider at the right time. The referrals come into a central referral and they are reviewed by our shoulder surgeons and coded appropriately. Between the six providers, the coded referral goes to the appropriate provider. Referrals that have a high likelihood of requiring surgery go to the three Orthopaedic Surgeons and wait less time. The referrals that likely do not require surgery or need further testing are divided amongst the PA and two Non-surgeon Medical Doctors.

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A Week In The Life Of A Pa In Orthopaedics

An Inside Look at One of the Most Popular Specialties for PAs

I, like many other orthopaedic healthcare providers, was drawn to orthopaedics because of an athletic background and a musculoskeletal injury. Between the ages of 14 and 15, I suffered four patella dislocations due to high-impact sport. These dislocations finally culminated in a stabilization procedure. I was always deeply impressed by the care provided by every musculoskeletal provider nurses, PAs, physicians, physical therapists. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to impact lives and give back to the community as a PA.

After undergrad, I immediately enrolled in a local college to complete my prerequisite science courses and began PA school in 2008. I graduated from the Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital PA program in 2010 and began my career in orthopaedics.

Orthopaedics is one of the most popular specialties for PAs. Almost 18,000 certified PAs practice surgical subspecialties including orthopaedics. PAs in orthopaedic surgery practice in all settings: hospitals, academic centers, private practice, and ambulatory surgery centers. In my current role, I practice in various settings, depending on the day. Heres what a typical week for me looks like:

Experienced Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant Joins Geisinger


Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.

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Job Description For An Orthopedic Physician Assistant


The orthopedics field focuses on bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, particularly injuries to those parts. Becoming an orthopedic physician or surgeon takes years of medical school, but a physician assistant position in the field gives you a chance to perform some of the same duties with less schooling. Check out the orthopedic physician assistant job description to determine if this career aligns with your goals.

Physician Assistants In Orthopaedics: What We Do And How To Become One

Meet Truly Compassionate Physician Assistant in Orthopedic Surgery Jose ...

I frequently get asked by students and physician assistants who are interested in orthopaedics, “What is it like being a PA in orthopaedics?”. To start, that is a question that has many potential answers, depending on who is answering. That answer may also change, depending on circumstances of time and place.

First, I would like to set the stage for my answer by saying this is my interpretation of being a PA in orthopaedics and reflects only my views, with some additional metrics from recent reports by the American Academy of Physician Assistants , Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery , the Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants , and a couple of other sources.

Practicing as a physician assistant in orthopaedics has become a popular career choice among graduates of the steadily increasing number of PA programs across the country. There are somewhere along the lines of 250 accredited programs. According to, there were just under 10,500 physician assistants working in orthopaedic surgery in 2014. That made up approximately 11% of all practicing PAs. While I do not have any more recent data, I can only imagine that number is higher today.


Still others note that they got into orthopaedics because it was an available job after school or because the pay and benefits were more desirable. While these reasons are less prevalent, they are certainly real.




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Orthopaedic Physician Assistant Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as an orthopaedic physician assistant is “should I become an orthopaedic physician assistant?” You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, orthopaedic physician assistant careers are projected to have a growth rate described as “much faster than average” at 31% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a orthopaedic physician assistant by 2028 is 37,000.

Orthopaedic physician assistants average about $76.54 an hour, which makes the orthopaedic physician assistant annual salary $159,200. Additionally, orthopaedic physician assistants are known to earn anywhere from $87,000 to $289,000 a year. This means that the top-earning orthopaedic physician assistants make $202,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become an orthopaedic physician assistant. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That’s why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a midlevel provider, pain management physician, obstetrics gynecology physician, and senior physician.

Earn Enough Experience Working In Orthopaedic Surgery As A Pa

As you rack up relevant continuing medical education credits, you will want to be gaining experience working in orthopaedic surgery as a physician assistant, according to the NCCPA Orthopaedic Surgery CAQ requirements. You will need to have worked 4,000 hours over the course of six years in the orthopaedic surgery specialty before attesting to the NCCPA. Make sure you have proof that you worked the required amount of hours in the orthopaedic surgery specialty.

You will need to have a qualifying professional provide an attestation that you have the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to specialize in orthopaedic surgery, so make sure you meet all the necessary experience requirements: According to the NCCPA Orthopaedic Surgery CAQ requirements, those interested in the orthopaedic surgery CAQ need experience with the following:

  • Anesthesia
  • Advanced wound management
  • Compartment pressure measurement and management
  • Needle aspiration and injections
  • Diagnostic radiography
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Operative and perioperative care
  • Prevention, recognition, and management of the following: osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, pulmonary embolization, deep venous thrombosis

Check with the NCCPA to make sure you are best prepared to get all the relevant experience you need.

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What Is A Pas Scope Of Practice

Doctors may delegate to PAs those medical duties that are within their scope of practice, training, and experience, which are permitted by state law.

At Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, our physician assistants work closely with our orthopedic doctors to provide the highest level of surgical and nonsurgical care for patients. Physician assistants are highly trained healthcare providers who work under the supervision of our orthopedic doctors to take medical histories, conduct exams, diagnose and treat bone, joint, and muscle injuries and conditions, order and interpret tests such as X-rays and MRI, prescribe medications, and assist our doctors during surgery.

Resources For Physician Assistants In Orthopedic Surgery

Kevin Loontjer, PA-C – Orthopedic Surgery – CHI Health

Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery is a professional organization for physician assistants who work in orthopedics. PAOS is dedicated to providing high-quality programs that support its members in achieving a high level of knowledge in musculoskeletal health care within the physician-led concept.

Membership and active participation in PAOS provides a number of benefits for certified and licensed PAs in orthopedic surgery:

  • Offers CME in orthopedic and musculoskeletal healthcare care
  • Serves as a forum for interaction
  • Provides networking opportunities for information dissemination and job placement
  • Keeps PAs up to date on physician assistant education, training, certification, and changing legislation

Other professional associations that may be of interest to physician assistants specialized in orthopedic surgery include:

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Description Of A Senior Physician

A senior physician specializes in diagnosing and treating different medical conditions. They typically offer consultations and check-ups, conduct examinations, study patients’ medical histories, and guide patients through different treatments. A senior physician is a medical expert with years of experience, which gives them the authority to oversee various medical projects and operations, lead junior physicians, and participate in developing and implementing the facility’s standards and regulations.

Now, we’ll look at senior physicians, who generally average a lower pay when compared to orthopaedic physician assistants annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,137 per year.

While their salaries may vary, orthopaedic physician assistants and senior physicians both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like “patient care,” “surgery,” and “physical exams. “

While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. “ankle,” “diagnostic tests,” “treatment plans,” and “evaluates” are skills that have shown up on orthopaedic physician assistants resumes. Additionally, senior physician uses skills like internal medicine, clinical staff, family practice, and emr on their resumes.

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