Arthrex Offers Unique Course to Educate Physician Assistants on Innovative Products and Procedures


When Nick Abel, PA-C, (Cortlandt Manor, NY) learned that Arthrex was offering a Sports Medicine Physician Assistant Course, he didn’t hesitate to sign up.

“My previous job was in a hospital emergency room, working on orthopedic trauma, and when I moved to an outpatient, private practice setting, I learned I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. I wanted to come here because you really get to learn the procedure; you get time in the lab. And that is where you are going to improve,” he said.

Nick was one of nearly 60 physician assistants (PAs) who came to Arthrex global headquarters last week for the Sports Medicine Physician Assistant Course. The two-day course allowed the health care professionals in attendance to learn from the Medical Education staff about Arthrex product solutions to common orthopedic problems and then practice using those products and techniques in the ArthroLab™ Naples.

Senior Clinical Specialist George Rego, PA-C, said the course is special because the PAs are exposed to a cadaveric surgical skills lab. He added it is one of the reasons the course fills up quickly and has a wait list.

“It’s rare for PAs to get to practice their surgical skills on cadavers during educational conferences,” he said. “And if they become more confident in their skills, it is only going to improve patient care.”

The first day focused on the knee, while the second day focused on the shoulder.

“We focus on the common sports injuries and procedures to return athletes to their sport,” said George. “We truly want this to be an opportunity for these PAs to improve their surgical skills.”

George said it is important for Medical Education to engage the PAs because they are important members of the surgical team.

Kathleen Streem, director of medical education for Medwest Associates, said the course allows the PAs to understand why their surgeons choose Arthrex products.

“Not only that, they see the facility, the research area, and how dedicated Arthrex is to education and the mission statement of Helping Surgeons Treat Their Patients Better™,” she said. 

Nick said the Arthrex difference is due, in part, to the role of the Arthrex representatives.

“They really care about patients and they want to be sure we know the procedures and the products,” he said.

Kathleen said she was also learning new things in the course that she could pass along to her fellow technology consultants.

Melissa Guzman, PA-C, was a self-described jack of all trades in her last job, where she worked assisting in cardiothoracic, orthopedic and other surgical procedures. But as the newest surgical PA at the NCH Healthcare System in Naples, Florida, she knew she would be working with local orthopedic surgeons, and she wanted to work on improving her orthopedic skills.

“It’s important, when you are the second hand during a procedure, that you know the products and the techniques the surgeons prefer,” she said. “And for me, I specialized in a lot of things, but now I need to learn some more specifics, like how to harvest and prepare grafts.”

Arthrex Clinical Specialist Ryan Shamus, PA-C, said he thought the labs were providing value to the attendees.

“At my stations, I am hearing high-level clinical discussions,” he said. “They are learning from the faculty, but also from each other, which is similar to surgeon courses.”

In addition to the PA course in sports medicine, Medical Education also offers a PA course that focuses on musculoskeletal ultrasound and Synergy MSK™ wireless ultrasound.

Category: Medical Education Events