Medical Professionals Descriptions

The TEAM at the Center for Spine & Orthopedics strives toward providing you EXCELLENCE in comprehensive spine care.  We have a variety of health care professionals dedicated to excellence in patient care. Learn more about the responsibilities of each of our doctors to provide you with the best care possible.

Orthopaedic Surgeon (sub-specialty in SPINE SURGERY):
Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics (also spelled orthopaedics) is the branch of surgery concerned with acute, chronic, traumatic, and overuse injuries and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons address most musculoskeletal ailments including arthritis, trauma and congenital deformities using both surgical and non-surgical means.  In the United States and Canada, orthopedic surgeons are physicians who have completed applied training in orthopedic surgery after the completion of medical school and attainment of the allopathic (MD, MBBS, MBChB, etc) or osteopathic (DO) degree. According to the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006–2007) published by the U.S. Department of Labor, between 3–4% of all practicing physicians are orthopedic surgeons.  Orthopedic surgeons (also known as orthopedists) complete a minimum of 10 years of postsecondary education and clinical training. In the majority of cases this training includes obtaining an undergraduate degree (a few medical schools will admit students with as little as two years of undergraduate education), an allopathic degree or osteopathic degree (4 years), and then completing a five-year residency in orthopedic surgery. The five-year residency consists of one year of general surgery training followed by four years of training in orthopedic surgery.  Many orthopedic surgeons elect to do further subspecialty training in programs known as ‘fellowships’ after completing their residency training.  Fellowship training in an orthopedic subspeciality is typically one year in duration (sometimes two) and usually has a research component involved with the clinical and operative training. Our surgeons are trained in the sub-specialty of spine surgery.  There are a total of nine main sub-specialty areas of orthopedic surgery.  Jean-Andre Venel established the first orthopedic institute in 1780, which was the first hospital dedicated to the treatment of children’s skeletal deformities.  He is considered by some to be the father of orthopedics or the first true orthopedist in consideraton of the establishment of his hospital and for his published methods.  Dr. Michael E. Janssen, Dr. Monroe I. Levine, and Dr. Joseph M Morreale, of the Center for Spine & Orthopedics will provide the highest quality of patient care.  Modern orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal research has sought to make surgery less invasive and to make implanted components better and more durable.
Physiatrist:
Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), or physiatry, is a branch of medicine dealing with functional restoration of a person affected by physical disability. A physician who has completed training in this field is referred to as a physiatrist. In order to be a physiatrist in the United States, one must complete four years of medical school, one year of internship and three years of residency. Physiatrists specialize in restoring optimal function to people with injuries to the muscles, bones, tissues, and nervous system.  The term ‘Physiatry’ was coined by Dr. Frank H. Krusen in 1938. The term was accepted by the American Medical Association in 1946. The field grew notably in response to the demand for sophisticated rehabilitation techniques for the large number of injured soldiers returning from World War II.  Physical medicine and rehabilitation involves the management of disorders that alter the function and performance of the patient. Emphasis is placed on the optimization of function through the combined use of medications, physical modalities, physical training with therapeutic exercise, movement & activities modification, adoptive equipments and assistive device, orthotics (braces), prosthesis, and experiential training approaches.  Common conditions that are treated by physiatrists include amputation, spinal cord injury, and sports injury, stroke, musculoskletal pain syndromes such as low back pain, fibromyalgia and traumatic brain injury.  Dr. George A. Leimbach is a Physiatrist at the Center for Spine & Orthopedics.
Nurse Practitioner:
A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed a Masters degree in nursing education along with additional training in the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions. Nurse Practitioner, Ruth Beckham, of the Center for Spine & Orthopedics is dedicated to providing you with excellence in comprehensive spine care.  Around the country, Nurse Practitioners are serving as mid-level Primary Healthcare Providers.  Nurse Practitioners provide care in a wide range of medical practices, urgent care centers, and rural health clinics.  In the United States, Nurse Practitioners are licensed by the state in which they practice, and have a national board certification (usually through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners). Nurse Practitioners can be trained and nationally certified in a wide range of medical disciplines.  Nurse Practitioners treat both acute and chronic conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, prescribing medications, physical therapy, ordering tests and therapies for patients, within their scope of practice. Many Nurse Practitioners have a DEA registration number that allows them to write prescriptions for federally-defined “controlled medications”. Nurse Practitioners may also bill Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance for services performed. A Nurse Practitioner can serve as a patient’s “point of entry” health care provider, and see patients of all ages depending on their designated scope of practice. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse Practitioners focus on patients’ conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. Informing patients about their health care and encouraging them to participate in decisions are central to the care provided by NPs.
Physician Assistant:
In the United States, a Physician Assistant (PA) is an advanced practice clinician licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician (either an M.D. or D.O.).  Physician Assistants are not to be confused with medical assistants, who perform administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals and clinics under the direct supervision of physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, or even PAs.  The PA profession came into existence in the mid-1960s due to the shortage and uneven geographic distribution of primary care physicians in the United States. Dr. Eugene Stead of the Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina assembled the first class of PAs in 1965, composed of former U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen and U.S. Army combat medics, who had received considerable medical training during their military service and gained valuable experience during the Vietnam War. He based the curriculum of the PA program in part on his first-hand knowledge of the fast-track training of medical doctors during World War II.  PAs are advanced practice clinicians, and obtain medical histories, perform examinations and procedures, order treatments, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, interpret diagnostic tests, refer patients to specialists when appropriate and first-assist in surgery.  All states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have laws or regulations authorizing physician assistants to practice medicine. PAs can also prescribe medications in all of these locations; those who prescribe controlled medications in their scope of practice must also have a DEA number.  Meet Physician Assistant, Rachel Cengia.

Information on Medical Professionals as provided by Wikipedia.