Jennifer Van Atta, MS, PA-C, is a physician assistant at Orthopedics Northwest in Tigard, Oregon. Her blog revolves around contemporary and everyday issues relating to professional life.

Best feedback provides opportunity to change, contemplate

September 16, 2013

Most physician assistants pride themselves on being good communicators. That is why it is always such a surprise to stumble across situations that work out to less than…

Standing up, standing out

July 18, 2013

Is standing out in a crowd a good thing? Ask a group of adults and you will get varied responses, usually followed by an example or two that supports the answers given…

Vulnerability and shame can work for you

June 14, 2012

Brene Brown, a shame researcher of TED Talk fame, operates a blog website, There, she chronicles everyday situations related to issues blocking…

Keeping the 'social' in social media

May 18, 2012

Are you a Facebook fan? How about a Twitter fan? If so, I’ll bet you have plenty of thoughts on the current push to use social media for professional marketing…

Take ownership of prevention

April 16, 2012

A recent article on prevention caught my eye. It made the bold statement, “All PAs should take ownership of prevention, which is often considered the province of…

Obesity in our patients

March 23, 2012

How many of the patients you see are obese or morbidly obese? And how do you measure this? Eyeball them? Body mass index (BMI)? Weight?

What gives your work significance?

February 10, 2012

Most of us, when asked, “Any regrets about going into the PA medical profession?” Would give a resounding, “No!” But sometimes we don’t realize directly why that is…

When accusations tear your group apart

November 18, 2011

It has happened — accusations are made, everyone is in denial, staff are caught off guard, patients are cancelling, nobody knows how to respond. The media gets…

Living with the dinosaur

July 26, 2011

It’s not that I’m so old (God forbid) or nerdy (ditto) , but over the last 6 or so years I’ve had occasion to seriously dig in to four to six different…

Would a PA help my practice?

May 23, 2011

If you’ve ever tossed this question around with your partners, your spouse or your buddies, you are not alone. I am frequently asked this question by CEOs, COOs, HR…