Physician Assistant… What is a PA and is it ok to see one?

We’ve all asked these two questions when it comes to our medical care. What is a PA (aka Physician Assistant)? and is it really ok to see one?

Well, here at Apex Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we utilize Physician Assistants as an integral part of caring for the Kansas City area.

They help care for our patients alongside our physicians. When you call to schedule, we may offer the option of an earlier appointment with your preferred physician’s PA. In fact, the PA can start your treatment plan right away. We trust a physician assistant to care for you and want you to feel confident in them as well.


Why can you trust a Physician Assistant at APEX?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works directly with one of our physicians as part of your care team. As such, we pride ourselves in hiring only the most highly trained and qualified physician assistants. For example, our PAs are graduates of an accredited PA educational program. They are nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. Every PA completed a Bachelor’s degree in the field of their choice. They then completed a 2-3 year graduate program to obtain their Master’s degree.  They have been taught based on the same education model as physicians, even having shared classes with doctors during their classroom years. Another requirement of PAs is to complete a year or more of clinical rotations with various medical professionals (MDs, DOs, PAs, NPs). This helps them to become highly qualified and well rounded medical providers.

If you’d like to learn more about PAs in general, check out the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

What are the Physician Assistants at APEX qualified to do in regards to my treatment?

Our PAs have gone through a broad training program to be able to practice in a wide variety of settings or specialties. From family medicine to surgical subspecialties, such as orthopedics, and everything in between. They see and treat patients in the clinic. Furthermore, they assist our surgeons in the operating room. They order imaging and lab testing, prescribe medications and determine your appropriate treatment plan. PAs do all of this in collaboration with their supervising physician.

Are PAs new to the medical scene?

To some the practice of Physician Assistants is a new concept. In reality, they’ve been around for quite some time. Physician Assistants came to be back in the 1960’s as a strategy to deal with a shortage of primary care physicians. In addition, to this need there was a large number of medical corpsmen coming back from the Vietnam War who didn’t have a position in the medical world. The first PA program began out of Duke University on October 6, 1965. This is why National PA Week starts on this day every year. The practice of PAs is growing every year and APEX is proud to have them as part of their team as they care for the Kansas City area.


For more information on each of our highly skilled mid-levels take a look at their bios.

Click here to schedule an appointment with one of our PAs and begin your journey back to an active lifestyle today!