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Johns Hopkins Medicine Suburban - Why Suburban?

New Directions Winter 2012

Why Suburban?

Date: November 1, 2012

Steve Cohen, Senior Neurosurgical PA
Steve Cohen, Senior Neurosurgical PA

I joined Suburban Hospital 14 years ago to launch the hospital’s Neurosurgical Physician Assistant program. Physician assistants (PAs) are trained to perform many of the functions of a medical doctor. PAs can evaluate and treat patients in a hospital, office or emergency setting. We prescribe medication and write orders for various therapies and testing. In my role as a neurosurgical PA, I assist the surgeon in the OR and work closely with physicians, nurses, social workers and others to provide patients with the highest level of care possible. At Suburban Hospital, there are more than 50 PAs specializing in neurosurgery, orthopedics, general surgery and trauma.

PAs as a profession began around 1965, when former U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen recruited for PA?training. Today, there are more than 150 accredited PA schools in the U.S. Training usually takes 2–3 years and is completed during undergraduate education or post-graduate studies, for a total of 4–7 years.

As a hospital-based PA, I am able to spend quality time with my patients, listen to what they have to say and respond to their needs. Part of my job is to ensure that a patient doesn’t spend more time in the hospital than is necessary and that we discharge patients with the right information and guidance. I thoroughly enjoy being a PA at Suburban and am proud to be a part of an important and growing profession.