The physician assistants (PAs) at Sacred Heart Orthopedics have been specifically and carefully trained by our physicians and surgeons to provide our patients with a high level of orthopedic both in the office and as assistants in the operating room. Our physician assistants diagnose and treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, order and interpret tests, counsel patients on preventive health issues, and write prescriptions. Though they see patients independently, their work is always with the knowledge and supervision of one of our doctors. Our physician assistants are all certified by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care providers licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, assist in surgery, counsel on preventative health care, and in virtually all states, including Florida, can write prescriptions. Physician Assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision- making and provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.
All of our PAs have been trained in intensive education programs, most receiving Masters Degrees. Education is based on the medical model, designed to complement physician training. Physician Assistants take a national certifying examination, must log 100 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain certification, and must sit for a recertification exam every six years.
In our practice, PAs receive further education and training in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, and Physical Medicine upon joining the staff. They make decisions consistent with how each individual Physician in our group conducts their practice. The Physicians are always readily available either in person or by telephone for consultation with the PA. Even when you don’t see the Physician, they are always actively involved in your care. The Physicians monitor PA activities by reviewing and signing all office notes, which outline the nature of each patient encounter and treatment rendered.
We go to great lengths to ensure that each patient knows that they are seeing the Physician Assistant when we schedule their appointment, but we understand that communication problems may occur. Every patient has the right to see their Physician, but this may require us to reschedule or ask that you be patient, as there might be an extended wait to see the Physician.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask our staff, your PA, or your Physician.