What is a Physician Assistant?


As physician assistants, we have the great privilege of working with a fantastic group of physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals and staff. The primary goal is to provide the best orthopaedic care for you, the patient. While we enjoy working together as a team, there are occasionally some misconceptions about our role in the practice.

Physician assistants (or PA’s) are licensed medical professionals trained to examine, diagnose and treat medical problems. We order and interpret tests, perform procedures and prescribe medications. PA’s practice in every area of medicine from pediatrics to surgery, and in every medical setting, from operating rooms in hospitals to specialty clinics and community health centers.


Following undergraduate education, most PA’s complete a master’s degree program that includes in-depth medical science courses. A few of these subjects include:

  • Anatomy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physical diagnosis

Additionally, training includes more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations. PA students commonly share classes, facilities and clinical rotations with medical students, and the curriculum is quite similar to a physician’s education.

After graduation, training continues with the completion of 100 hours of continuing medical education. These hours must be renewed every two years. We must also pass a rigorous recertification exam every 10 years to maintain national certification, as well as retain a license to practice in our states.


We believe in teamwork, so our PA’s work alongside the orthopaedic surgeons to enhance the coordination and quality of care provided to each patient. Each physician is paired with a PA who is familiar with the doctor’s specialty. This team practice approach optimizes patient care through all treatment phases.

As part of your appointment, you may be evaluated by a physician assistant. He or she will assist the surgeon in planning your diagnostics and treatment. Our PA’s are highly skilled and perform multiple duties as part of their role. We apply splints and casts, counsel patients and perform office procedures like injections and post-operative care. We also assist in the operating room and conduct rounds for inpatient procedures.

You have the option of scheduling an appointment with a physician assistant when making a decision about your care. Often, this alternative allows you the opportunity to be evaluated and treated quickly and conveniently.

In addition to our clinical duties, we enjoy volunteering as educators, giving lectures to PA students and University of Nebraska – Omaha Athletic Training students, as well as providing clinical rotation training to incoming PA students. We also provide sports medicine coverage with the physicians to local high school and collegiate teams.

We strive to provide highly specialized care to our patients with one of the region’s most trusted teams of physicians and support personnel. Together, we use all our resources to ensure an optimal patient experience.

What is a Physician Assistant?

Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital: Specializing in You

U.S. News & World Report ranked us first in the region for orthopaedics

Since April 2004, Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital has been dedicated to providing complete care and treatment for the orthopaedic patient. We specialize in the diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitative needs of persons with musculoskeletal conditions. Our facilities are state-of-the-art and focused on high quality, cost effective care. Our staff is chosen for their experience and passion for outstanding patient care.
Many of our surgeons sub-specialize and have completed fellowships in a variety of areas, including:

  • sports medicine
  • joint replacement
  • hand and upper extremity
  • problems of the foot and ankle
  • spine care.

They are supported by physicians from a variety of other specialties such as internal and family medicine, cardiology, pathology, radiology and anesthesiology. These physicians assist with your care during your entire stay.

We also offer education for potential patients through our joint pain seminars. During these hour-long sessions, doctors present information on knee, hip and shoulder replacement surgeries, and answer questions from people considering joint replacement.

Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital meets the definition of a “physician-owned hospital” under 42 CFR 489.3. Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital is owned by a group of practicing physicians as well as, in part, by Nebraska Medicine. This means we are experts in our fields and have an extensive support system.

The hospital was recently named the top hospital for orthopaedics in Omaha, and #47 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. We pride ourselves on outstanding care and excellent patient experience.

To find out more about Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital or to schedule an appointment, visit http://www.neorthohospital.com.

Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital: Specializing in You