Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists utilizes physician assistants (PAs) who practice as part of the medical team in all areas of orthopaedics. Physician assistants can treat patients and write prescriptions when their supervising doctors are away. They are trained to recognize when patients need the attention of a supervising doctor or another specialist.
How do doctors and physician assistants work together?
The relationship between a physician assistant and his or her supervising doctor is characterized by mutual trust and respect; they function as a team in providing quality medical services. The physician assistant is a representative of the doctor and treats patients in the style and manner developed and directed by the supervising doctor.
Physician assistants are colleagues of doctors. They work together to ensure access to quality healthcare in a cost-effective and timely manner. Their training includes anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis and treatment. This training is followed by clinical rotations. A physician assistant is a graduate of an accredited PA program and is authorized by the state or credentialed by the federal government to practice medicine as delegated by and with the supervision of a doctor. He or she is a highly qualified practitioner who is capable of functioning with autonomy as authorized by his or her supervising doctor.
What is a physician assistant’s 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.
Physician assistants provide a comprehensive range of medical and surgical services, which have traditionally been performed by doctors. PAs are trained to conduct physical examinations, diagnose illnesses, order and interpret X-rays and laboratory studies, write prescriptions, develop treatment plans, and instruct and counsel patients. They also treat injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting. Additionally, PAs may assist in surgery. These providers may see patients independently and/or directly with a doctor.
When might I see a PA at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists?
At the time of your:
- Initial visit
- Follow-Up Care
- Preoperative Visit
- Emergency Room Visit
- Cast Room Visit
- Surgery, in the Operating Room
You may see the doctor and his or her PA at the same visit. However, if you do not see the doctor, please know that the physician assistant discusses and reviews your case with his or her supervising doctor.
Will my insurance pay for me to see a PA?
It is customary for insurance to cover services rendered by physician assistants.