Physician Assistant Week

Posted on 05-24-2024 by Dr. Alex Coleman, Dr. Steven Kronlage, Dr. Matthew Mai, Dr. Chris O'Grady, Dr. James Piorkowski

Each year, from October 6-12, we celebrate National Physician Assistant Week and recognize our incredible Physician Assistants (PA) at North Florida Bone & Joint. Without question, our PAs have dedicated themselves to delivering care on behalf of their patients, communities and the profession.

Did you know?

  • According to the American Academy of Physician Associates, over 168,300 PAs practice medicine across every specialty and setting in the U.S., making them one of the fastest-growing provider professions in healthcare.
  • To obtain a license, a PA must graduate from one of the 303 master’s degree level accredited Physician Assistant programs in the U.S. These programs include three academic years of coursework and require PA candidates to complete 2,000 hours of clinical rotations and pass a certification exam, among other requirements.
  • To maintain their certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass a recertification exam every ten years.
  • Not only are they rigorously educated and trained healthcare professionals, but PAs are also dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and wellness through patient-centered, team-based medical practice.

Meet the North Florida Bone & Joint PAs

Tony Alexander, PA, is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic Physician Assistant with nearly three decades of experience. He works with our renowned comprehensive hip orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Matthew Mai, to treat musculoskeletal conditions of the hip resulting from development, injury, overuse and arthritis.

Charles Barnes, PA, has been practicing as a Physician Assistant since 2003. He brings ten years of combined Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care experience and seven years of orthopaedic trauma and upper extremity experience to his role working with orthopaedic hand surgeons, Dr. Steven Kronlage, Dr. Alex Coleman and Dr. James Piorkowski.

Kerrie Begley, PA, attended the University of West Florida for undergraduate studies in Biology while gaining experience as an employee at Andrews Institute. She received her master’s in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2017. Keri works with orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Chris O’Grady, treating patients as part of his orthopaedics and sports medicine practice.

Chris Key, PA, received his bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy from the University of Alabama and his master’s degree as a Physician Assistant from the University of South Alabama. He has worked in orthopaedics since graduating in 2005. Chris is also part of Dr. O’Grady’s orthopaedics and sports medicine team.



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