Patrick Thompson, PA-C, MPAS

Certified Physician Assistant
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Patrick is a native of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of St. Thomas. He completed his Physician Assistant training at Western Michigan University. A Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies was completed through the University of Nebraska. He has lived in St. Augustine since 2001 and has worked with Dr. Grimes since 2005. He is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. He is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Sean Powell, PA-C, MMS

Certified Physician Assistant
Master of Medical Science

Sean is a 1997 graduate from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy. In 1999, he completed his Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ. Since his graduation, Sean has practiced in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Phoenix, AZ until 2005. He has been practicing in St. Augustine, FL since moving back to his native state of Florida in 2005. He has worked with many local university and high school athletic departments since returning to Florida. His focus has been working to return his patients to an active life. Sean is a current member of many national and state PA organizations. These include the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants.

What the vital functions of a Certified Physician Assistant?

Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)

What is a Physician Assistant (PA)?

Physician Assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibility, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventative healthcare, assist in surgery, and can write prescriptions.

How is a Physician Assistant educated?

PAs are trained in intensive education programs by the Accreditation Review Commission of Education for Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and are certified by the NCCPA (National Certification Commission of Physician Assistants). Due to the close working relationship PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in a medical model designed to compliment physician training and in some schools they attend many of the same classes as medical students. PA students are taught, as are medical students, to diagnose and treat medical problems. PAs are required to take ongoing continuing education classes and be retested on their clinical skills on a regular basis.

The relationship between a PA and the supervising physician is one of mutual trust and respect. The Physician Assistant is a representative of the physician treating the patient in the style and manner developed and directed by the physician. In general, a physician assistant will see many of the same types of patients as the physician. The cases handled by physicians are generally the more complicated medical cases or those cases which require care that is not a routine part of the PAs scope of work. Referral to the physician, or close consultation between the patient-PA-physician, is done for unusual or hard to manage cases.

What the vital functions of a Certified Orthopaedic Physician Assistant?

Certified Orthopaedic Physician Assistant (OPA-C)

What is an OPA-C?

The certified orthopaedic physician’s assistant (OPA-C) is a professional, mid-level physician employee who works strictly in the field of orthopaedic medicine under the supervision of an orthopaedic surgeon. The title “OPA-C” can be used only by an individual who has successfully passed the certification exam set forth by the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants (NBCOPA).

What are the requirements needed to become an OPA-C?

OPA-C candidates must have at least 5 years of experience in orthopaedic medicine encompassing anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and knowledge of musculoskeletal disease processes and treatments. Candidates also must have demonstrated proficiency in technical skills related to patient care, casting, bracing, splinting, and surgical assisting.

Individuals can then sit for the exam. Those who receive a passing score on the exam are awarded with the “OPA-C” title. Certification is maintained by voluntary participation in continuing medical education (CME) programs that meet American Medical Association guidelines. Certification is valid for 4 years, at which time the OPA-C must have earned 120 hours of CME credit or must retake and pass the examination.

An OPA-C works within alongside his or her supervising physician. The employing physician takes the OPA-C’s experience and expertise into account when delegating duties. The ASOPA, in conjunction with the NBCOPA, has drafted Standardized Guidelines of Practice for OPAs, which list duties the OPA-C should be competent in performing, based on the areas covered by the certifying examination.