Accessibility Tools

What is a Physician Assistant/PA?

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?

  • Part of the U.S. healthcare system since the 1960s, physician assistants (PAs), are licensed or certified health professionals who provide a broad range of medical and surgical services under the supervision of a physician.
  • PAs can both diagnose and treat illness and injuries.
  • Our PAs work in partnership with our physicians to help ensure that we provide our patients with efficient and effective care.
  • Whenever one of our qualified PAs is seeing patients in the office, during hospital rounds or when assisting in surgeries, the supervising physician is immediately available for consultation either in person or by telephone.
  • Your physician has ultimate responsibility for your health and welfare.

What Does the “C” in PA-C Mean?

  • This means that the PA has passed the certification exam developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners and administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
  • All PAs are certified by the NCCPA.

Can PAs Prescribe Medications?

  • In Virginia, both are authorized to write and sign some prescriptions without a physician co-signature.

At Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, our highly trained and specialized orthopedic team includes a nearly 12 physician assistants—health care providers who are trained and licensed to practice orthopedic medicine with limited supervision of a physician. Without these invaluable orthopedic experts, Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center would not be able to function to the high degree it does now.

  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Association of Hand Surgery
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Virginia Orthopaedic Society, Sentara
  • Sentara
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
  • 5801 Harbour View Blvd
    Suite 200
    Suffolk, VA 23435

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

  • 501 Discovery Drive
    Chesapeake, VA 23320


  • 150 Burnett’s Way
    Suite 100
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm