The Physician Assistant (PA) is a key member of the Northern Arizona Orthopaedics' team who helps patients along a path of recovery and mobility. Our PAs work closely with each patient's physician. PAs are a vital part of a medical-surgical practice and a major support system in a person's experience before and after surgery, or during pain intervention procedures. Patients benefit from the PA's specialized skill and care. Our patients develop a trust and partnership with their PAs, and often share they have very positive patient experiences.
What is a Physician Assistant (PA)? A PA is a nationally certified, state-licensed healthcare provider. After attending a rigorous training, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Subsequently, they must recertify every 10 years, in addition to completing 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every 2 years to maintain certification. PAs are able to take medical histories, conduct physical exams, order and interpret diagnostic test, diagnose and develop treatment plans, write prescriptions, assist in surger and make hospital rounds. All this is done through clear communication with the patient's physician, who is still the one to make decisions for the patient's individual treatment plan.
Our PAs represent each area of expertise - foot/ankle, knee, hip, hand/wrist, shoulder and spine - and they all work extremely close with the physician(s) who are experts in that specific specialty. The NAO PAs know orthopaedics! As care providers, our PAs play an integral part in NAO's guiding principals to provide a quality patient experience unlike any other and practice with a patient-centric approach. This is why the PAs providing care at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics believe the close relationships they forge with both physicians and patients are among the most satisfying aspect of their jobs.