PA Facts and FAQ

What is a Physician Assistant?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a nationally certified medical professional that practices medicine on a healthcare team with physicians and other providers. They practice and prescribe medications, assist in surgery, and counsel patients.

Physician Assistants are credentialed providers and services are covered by all private payers, Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.

PAs are trained under the medical model and requires a Bachelor’s degree with a basic science background. The program consists of over 27 months with 12 months of didactic training in sciences, followed by over 2,000 hours of clinical rotations.

Formal surgical skills are covered in first year training and rotations allow for further skill development.  Schools include a surgical course and have formal training of scrubbing, assisting, and surgical procedures.


The Physician Assistant in Surgery

“An Extension of the Surgeon”

PA Training provides extensive training in surgery and allows the PA to provide the following services:

*First assist in Surgery

*Physical exam

*Pre-op and Post-op care

*Excision closure

*Interpret diagnostic tests ( labs, xrays, MRI, CT)

*Counseling patients

*Write prescriptions

*Patient rounding


How many PAs are in clinical practice?

Surgical Assisting Experience includes, but not limited to:


Minimally invasive procedures

Anterior Cervical diskectomy

Cervical and lumbar laminectomy




Spinal cord stimulator implant,

Microscopic assisted cases,


Tumor excision


General Orthopaedics:

Total joint arthroplasty (Knee, Hip Shoulder,Elbow) Partial joint arthroplasty

MakoplastyComputer Assisted Joint Arthroplasty

Revision Arthroplasty

Periprosthetic fracture management

Hip Fractures

Wound vac application

Fracture management


Sports Medicine/Orthopaedics:

Arthroscopic assisted ACL Reconstruction

Knee Arthroscopy

MPFL Reconstruction

Cartilage Restoration Procedures

Arthroscopic Shoulder Rotator Cuff Repair Capsulohaphy Biceps Tenodesis

Tommy John Reconstruction

Elbow Arthroscopy

Distal Biceps tendon repair

Fracture Management

AC Joint Reconstruction



General surgery:

Laparoscopic procedures (hernia repair, nissen fundoplication)

Lap chole

Lap appy

Colon resection,(Open and laparoscopic hand assisted)

Open cases,


Neck dissections


Breast biopsy


Vascular surgery:

Vascular grafts


Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair


Gynecological / OB surgery:

Laparoscopic oophorectomy and salpingectomy




Plastic surgery:




Wound closure with flap advancement

Excision of malignant skin lesions