Recruitment Initiative for Surgical Affiliates Management Group Highlights Growing Demand for Physician Assistants in Acute Care Surgery

Surgical PAs now fastest-growing specialty segment for profession 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – October 6, 2016 – Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc., one of the nation’s leading acute care surgery providers and an exhibitor at this week’s California Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA) conference in Palm Springs, summarizes the top five reasons to consider a career as a surgical physician assistant (PA), now the fastest-growing specialty within the profession.*

Leon J. Owens, MD, FACS, CEO of Surgical Affiliates Management Group, summarized the five factors fueling the growth in surgical jobs for PAs:

  1. Job satisfaction. PAs are highly satisfied with their surgical jobs. One reason is that those involved in surgery perform a number of high level tasks, including serving as first or second assist in surgery. Depending on the specialty, they may also perform intricate procedures including conduit vessel harvesting, organ procurement for transplantation and intra-articular joint aspiration and injections.
  2. Attractive compensation packages. According to the Statistical Report on Certified PAs from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), PAs in surgery can make well over $100,000 a year.
  3. Ability to be a key player on a surgical team. Within the Surgical Affiliates model, PAs play a pivotal role not only in providing hands-on care and performing a number of surgical procedures, but they are also the key member on the team in terms of collaborating with the surgeon and communicating with patients.
  4. Predictable work schedule. The Surgical Affiliates model enables PAs to have both a predictable schedule and higher quality of life. So that when the PA is on, they are 100 percent on, and when off, they are completely off.
  5. Opportunity to add to clinical expertise. Ongoing interaction with other mid-levels and surgeons provides the opportunity to add to the PA’s skill set.

“PAs are critical members of our care team,” said Dr. Owens. “Our PAs are the ‘glue’ that ensures continuity of patient care. They round with surgeons, participate in patient evaluation and management and facilitate the patient/surgeon relationship, among other things.”

The growth of PAs in surgery comes at just the right time for the healthcare industry. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), reports that the U.S. faces a declining number of both general and specialty surgeons, resulting in an expected shortage between 25,200 and 33,200 surgeons by 2025. The AAMC says the shortage of surgeons will have a, “significant effect on general surgery, vascular surgery and neurosurgery.”

“As soon as I realized it was an option for PAs, I knew I wanted to work in surgery,” said Max Auerbach, PA-C, who is part of the Surgical Affiliates surgical care team at St. Luke’s Hospital in upstate New York. “If a surgeon is operating and a trauma case comes in to the ER, or if there is a crash or some other emergency, I can get everything started and the patient stabilized. It reduces the stress on the surgeon; I help the surgeon be two places at once. Working as a PA in surgery is a great professional choice and one I encourage current and student PAs to strongly consider.”

For more information on career opportunities, visit Surgical Affiliates, booth #301 at the CAPA conference, held October 6-9 in Palm Springs.

*According to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), 22% of the nearly 109,000 certified PAs in the U.S. are in general surgery or surgical subspecialties (including general surgery, cardiothoracic, orthopaedic and vascular).

About Surgical Affiliates Management Group, Inc.

Surgical Affiliates Management Group is the first and only surgical hospitalist company with published, proven results that its programs improve patient care, lower costs, reduce readmissions and enhance hospital throughput. Surgical Affiliates’ System of Care© is a permanent solution to the challenge of providing integrated, 24/7 hospital-based surgical teams and one that raises the level of hospital performance across the board, preparing these facilities for the world of pay-for-performance and accountable care models. Surgical Affiliates provides trauma, orthopedic and acute care surgery programs in hospitals ranging from rural facilities to large community hospitals to multi-hospital systems. For more information, visit the Surgical Affiliates website at