Our Orthopaedic Physician Assistant fellowship consists of advanced, specialty-specific education and experience for entry-level graduates or experienced physician assistants looking to specialize in orthopaedic surgery. In 2015, Wake Forest School of Medicine departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and PA Studies collaborated to create an orthopaedic surgery postgraduate PA fellowship. The fellowship consists of three components: independent clinical experience, structured rotations and learning modules. The fellowship position is a one-year, full-time salaried employee with full benefits.
Throughout the 12 months, the fellow rotates with the orthopaedic department's subspecialty teams, including adult reconstruction, sports medicine, spine, level I orthopaedic trauma, hand and upper extremity, foot and ankle, pediatric orthopaedics,and pain management. A unique rotation in our Fracture Liaison Service provides the fellow with experience in osteoporosis management and fracture prevention. Additionally, time is spent with our musculoskeletal radiologists for advanced training in imaging interpretation. The final rotation is an elective, aiming to provide the fellow with additional experience in a subspecialty of their choice.
During each rotation, the fellow is exposed to all aspects of orthopaedic care and gains first-hand experience in outpatient clinics, first assisting in the operating room, inpatient rounding and management, and orthopaedic consults. Once a week, the fellow has their own independent clinic, with various appointments including post-op, hospital follow-ups, injections, return and new patients. Physician assistants and orthopaedic surgeons provide advice and guidance when needed. This provides the fellow with billing and coding experience, charting responsibilities and the opportunity to practice as a physician assistant within the department.
The fellow has full access to the academic medical center's educational lectures and weekly grand rounds and is encouraged to attend continuing education conferences. They are provided with various resources to expand their knowledge, including online learning modules, journal articles, textbooks and online databases.
The fellowship not only offers the PA orthopedic surgery experience but also additional insight and access to the many resources this academic institute offers. Having one-on-one time with experienced PAs and surgeons, relationships are built that provide the fellow with advice and guidance into the world of orthopedic surgery.