Career Switcher!
10+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2005
Staten Island, NY
Hi all. I got back a little while ago from Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. I had the good fortune to be able to shadow 2 neurosurgery PA's. For anyone that is either in a PA program or contemplating entering one and hasn't yet shadowed - I highly recommend it!

The day started out with me being allowed to observe a procedure in the OR to drain a subdural hematoma. The PA acted as first assistant: she prepped the patient, and the surgeon had her create one of the three burr holes. I left about halfway through this procedure to meet the other PA in the neurosurgery clinic. He was seeing patients. In total, we saw five patients - one was post-op. One thing I noted was that in each case, the PA interviewed the patient, performed a brief neuro exam, and then said that the attending would be in shortly...I don't know if the nature of each case required the physician to see the patient, or if the protocol there is to have each patient examined by the PA, then the physician (opposed to maybe having the PA diagnose/treat, and the doc signing off on charts later on)?

At any rate, I had a blast. I was only able to stay for about 4.5 hrs, but I will be going back soon!


Physician Assistant
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 21, 2004
Good to hear you were able to set up some shadowing experience at Jacobi. From what I have heard there are PAs on almost every service there; so once you have a good idea of what a Neurosurgery PA does, check out some of the other services like medicine and ER etc. Best of Luck.
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