Hi fellow orthopods, PAs, friends, & family!
Thank you for taking the time to take a peek into our lives as ortho PAs. I have been an orthopedic surgery PA for fifteen months running a high volume ortho trauma and joint replacement service. My orthopedic journey started a mere twelve years ago when I was employed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as a radiology technologist. It was during my first day in the operating room running live fluoroscopy that I knew I was meant to be on the other side of the C-Arm assisting the surgeon as a physician assistant. I spent two years gaining hands on experience working as a radiology technologist for UPMC which played an important role in my PA school application.
After graduating from La Roche college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Radiography with a minor in Management, I packed my bags, left Pittsburgh, and headed for the city that never sleeps. In the words of my loving husband, “You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take the Pittsburgh out of the girl.” I continued to work as a radiology tech full time, helped to open up three brand new Urgent Care Centers from the ground up for North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and enrolled in part time pre-req science courses. Billy Joel wasn’t wrong, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Although I didn’t think I was going to make it out of Manhattan alive, I did.
For the first six years of my husband and I’s relationship we had always talked about “going south.” So.. we packed up again and this time to sunny Clearwater, FL. I continued to work at Largo Medical Center as a radiology tech while pursuing science pre-reqs at The University of South Florida. I was grateful for an acceptance to Barry University’s Physician Assistant Master’s Program after being invited to interview at 4 out of state locations. You’ll learn more about these grueling 2.5 years soon! I am now working as an orthopedic physician assistant in Tampa and I truly couldn’t imagine myself in any other specialty!
Favorite things I enjoy aside from my work: living near the ocean, hot yoga, owning my own skincare and nutrition business, sailing, deep sea fishing
Favorite fracture: Pediatric both bone forearm fracture
Favorite surgery: ORIF Tibial plateau
Favorite ED procedure: Trimalleolar ankle fracture dislocation reduction
Follow my personal journey: @katiejamesonpa
ALL ABOUT EMILY!
I grew up in a small town in Iowa and when I say small, I mean we only had one high school. From a very young age I knew I wanted to work in the medical field and remember my mom writing on our white board that I wanted “to be a doctor by day and a ballerina by night.” I consider myself to have followed my childhood dream and couldn’t be happier with my career choice! I am incredibly fortunate to be practicing orthopedic surgery as a PA in sunny Florida.
After graduating high school I moved to St Louis and attended Saint Louis University where I was a member of the Saintsations, our dance and cheer team (fulfilling me dream of dancing). I studied pre dentistry to begin with, decided I couldn’t do a career where I couldn’t have a conversation with my patients during an office visit because my fingers were in their mouth and switched to athletic training due to my love of sports and my experience with a traumatic sports injury (broken fibula cheering at SLU requiring an ORIF 3 days before my 21st birthday). I eventually graduated with a bachelors of exercise science and stayed for another year to obtain my masters in Athletic Training.
After graduating with my Masters, I worked for a year as a traditional athletic trainer in Omaha, Nebraska and was presented with an opportunity to complete an Athletic Training residency at the University of South Florida so I moved to Tampa to chase my dream of living closer to the ocean while advancing my career. This is where my life completed changed. I was introduced to the clinical side of athletic training which I loved and truly made me realize I wanted to be able to do more with patients than that career would allow me and I met one of the biggest influences/mentors in my life, Larry Collins (a physician Assistant working at USF) who encouraged me to go back to PA school (and helped me get in). Off topic, this is also where I met fellow bone boss, Katie who was shadowing Larry, who was accepted into the same PA program as me and is now one of my best gal pals.
After 28 grueling months of PA school (which in hindsight were actually amazing and I met some of my closest now friends and colleagues) I am here. A Physician Assistant working in orthopedics in Tampa, FL. Although I did give every specialty a chance while on clinical rotations, ortho stayed near and dear to my heart and nothing else compared. There’s no bones about it, I was meant to be an orthopedic PA-C.
Outside of work there are many things I enjoy.
Traveling is my passion, I can’t live without cheese (even though Katie tried to make me once), I am addicted to bikinis and secretly want to open a bikini boutique, I will pet every dog I see and elephants make me cry happy tears. I am very passionate about everything I do because life is too short not to make the biggest impact you can on this wonderful world of ours.
Favorite Surgery: Achilles Tendon Repair
Favorite Bone: Humerus
Nerdiest fact: If I can’t sleep, instead of counting sheep, I name all the bones of the body starting with my toes
Fun fact: My birthday is Oct 6th which is also National PA day 🙂
Follow along my personal journey: @emsrenee