OrthoNeuro Blog

30 Sep

Physician Assistant Utilization in an Orthopedic Practice

by Courtney Gittins

physician assistant speaking with patientPhysician Assistants are extensively trained and licensed to provide medical services frequently under the supervision of a physician. 10% of the 90,000 PAs that are practicing in the US (2013) are involved in orthopedic surgery. Physician Assistants must pass their National Certifying Exam which is given by the National Commission on certification of Physician Assistants. Their program curriculum is 2 years long and is offered in med schools, colleges, universities, teaching hospitals, and through the U.S. armed services. They must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take a re-certification exam every 6 years. In addition to orthopedics, physician assistants are utilized in many healthcare specialities such as family practice, urgent care/ER, neurology, and dermatology.

In orthopedic practices, their responsibilities may include:

 Assisting their supervising physician with:

  • Patient care in the office
  • Surgery
  • Covering on-call schedule
  • Rounds at the hospital
  • Conducting hospital Rounds
  • Writing orders
  • Assisting in creating & implementing therapeutic treatment plans
  • Performing discharge duties
  • Providing orthopedic care in emergency departments
  • Performing histories & physical exams
  • Ordering → Interpreting diagnostic tests
  • Prescribing medications


  • Injection of joints & trigger points
  • Wound closures
  • Tendon Repair
  • Fracture management
  • Brace, Cast, and Splint application
Personalized Patient Care:
  • Manage pain control
  • Provide patient education
  • Adjust therapeutic modalities as needed

Orthopedic Urgent Care

  • Treating acute musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains, strains, closed fractures, neck/back pain, and pinched nerves.

 Click the button below for additional information on Physician Assistants

 PA Myth Busters


What is an Orthopedic Specialist?