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Postgraduate Programs in Orthopaedic Surgery for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners


Postgraduate orthopaedic programs for physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) number 14 as of 2020. To better understand the characteristics of these programs a census was undertaken. The result is that most programs are 1 year in duration and in 2019 produced 40 graduates. The role of the orthopaedic PA and NP fellow is to gain an understanding of a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders, develop procedural skills, first assist in the operating room, and facilitate management of patients and discharge throughput. PA and NP fellows work alongside categorical orthopaedic physician residents. The number of graduates from PA orthopaedic training programs is estimated at 200, spanning 20 years. The other 11,145 + PAs (99%) are trained on-the-job. For hospital systems, the employment of orthopaedic postgraduate PA and NP fellows provides value through cost management and billable services.

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