1. Why we call it “orthopedics”?

Since orthopaedics’ beginnings, its specialists have treated children suffering from spine and limb deformities. The Greek roots of the word “orthopaedics” are ortho (straight) and pais (child). Early orthopaedists often used braces or other forms of treatment to make the child “straight.”

A traditional symbol of orthopaedics is the bent tree that has been braced to make it grow straight.

A traditional symbol of orthopaedics

2. What does it mean to be a “Board Certified” physician?

Board Certification represents the pinnacle of achievement for physicians. Physicians can legally practice medicine by being licensed from the state in which they intend to practice. Licensure is not specialty specific, but sets the minimum competence requirements to diagnose and treat patients.

To become Board Certified, however, involves further examination and testing beyond the standard medical license and indicates a physician’s expertise in and commitment to a particular medical specialty and/or subspecialty of medical practice.

3. What does it mean to be a Fellowship Trained physician?

A fellowship is the period of medical training in the United States that a physician may undertake after completing a specialty training program. During this time (usually more than one year), the physician is known as a fellow. Fellows are capable of acting as attending physicians in the generalist field in which they were trained, such as orthopedics.

After completing a fellowship in the relevant sub-specialty, the physician is permitted to practice without direct supervision by other physicians in that sub-specialty, such as sports medicine or spine surgery.

4. Who is a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)?

A physician assistant (PA) is an advanced practice clinician licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. PAs are not to be confused with medical assistants, who perform administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals and clinics under the direct supervision of physicians.

PA education is based on the medical school model and training is usually 2 to 3 years in duration. It is generalist in approach, consisting of classroom and laboratory instruction in medical and behavioral sciences, such as anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, hematology, pathology, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis, followed by clinical rotations in various specialties.

5. What can a PA-C do in a medical office setting?

PAs are advanced practice clinicians, and obtain medical histories, perform examinations and procedures, order treatments, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, order and interpret diagnostic tests, refer patients to specialists when appropriate and first-assist in surgery. They are employed in primary care or in specialties in urban or rural regions, as well as in academic programs. PAs may practice in any medical or surgical specialty, and have the ability to move to different medical and surgical fields during their careers.

PAs are licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision, which may be either in person, by telecommunication system or by other reliable means (for example, regular chart review and consultation). The physician supervision, in most cases, need not be direct or on-site, and many PAs practice in remote or underserved areas in satellite clinics.