Meet Ken Kinnan, PA-C
My name is Ken Kinnan, and I’m a certified physician assistant (PA-C) here at Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedics. I’ve been with the practice about 11 years. Over those 11 years I’ve worked with most of the doctors in the practice, but now I primarily work with Dr. Danny Gurba and Dr. Thomas Shriwise doing total joint and sports medicine.
Physician assistants are mid-level practitioners trained by physicians. It’s similar to a nurse practitioner, but where a nurse practitioner is trained in the nursing model, physician assistants are trained in the physician model. My role as a physician assistant in orthopedic care is to act as a bridge for the patient to be seen at different levels of care, and to initially see them and then funnel them directly to the specialized surgeon or physician that they need to see.
I chose orthopedics because it really fit well with my experience as an athletic trainer. As an athletic trainer, I’d see a lot of the sports medicine conditions, and that translated well to coming here and working with orthopedics.
It’s amazing to me how people come here from other practices, or even their primary care doctors, and nobody has sat down with the patient and actually explained and showed them their X-rays or MRI. When you take that time with the patient and sit down there and listen to them, and then tell them about their condition, they are very appreciative.
I will see patients for a long period of time, and I’ve seen them suffer for a long time but not wanting to have surgery. And then, when the patient finally has surgery and has a really good outcome from the surgery, they come back into the clinic, give hugs, and say, “Thank you for giving me my life back.” That is one of the most rewarding things that I see, pretty much on a weekly basis.