Ankle, Elbow, Hip, Joint Replacement & Revision, Knee, Shoulder, Sports Medicine, Wrist
Vesna Sweet is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University with a Masters of Medical Sciences degree in 2010. She has completed her undergraduate work at the University of Central Florida in Cardiopulmonary Sciences. Her love of orthopaedics and orthopaedic surgery started while completing her clinical rotations with Florida Orthopaedic Associates. Prior to becoming a Physician Assistant, Vesna has worked as a respiratory therapist for 6 years in ICUs, ERs and helicopter flight team.
What is a Physician Assistant?
Physician Assistants (PAs) are commonly found within the medical field. The following information addresses some commonly asked questions:
A PA is a healthcare professional who is licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They must undergo national certification and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.
What do PA’s treat?
Physician Assistants can perform most of the routine functions in a medical practice. PA’s are able to handle common patient medical complaints, follow-up visits, and patient education and counseling. PA’s are responsible for the day-to-day care of patients, turning to their supervising physicians when faced with cases requiring more advanced medical knowledge.
Can PA’s prescribe medications?
Yes, this is a routine responsibility of a treating PA.
How is a Physician Assistant educated?
PA students are taught in programs located a medical schools and teaching hospitals. They typically share classes, facilities, and clinical rotations with the medical students. The PA program curriculum is 111 weeks as compared to 155 weeks for medical school.
Following the classroom and laboratory instruction in the basic medical and behavioral sciences (such as anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine and physical diagnosis), clinical rotations begin in internal medicine, family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, and geriatric medicine. PA students complete 2,000 hours of supervised clinical practice prior to graduation.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Physician Assistant?
Physicians and Physician Assistants work together as a team. The physician-PA team is effective because of the similarities in physician and PA training, and the efficiencies created by utilizing the strengths of each professional in the clinical practice setting. Duties for a PA may include performing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting lab tests, assisting in surgery, and making rounds at hospitals and nursing home facilities.
In addition, PA’s are excellent assistants at surgery. The familiarity and experience of the physician-PA surgical team results in efficiencies in the operating room that can reduce operative and anesthesia times.