Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Physician Assistant

First Advisor

Doris Ravotas

Second Advisor

Joe Fernandez


Surgical errors existed long before physician assistants (PA) starting joining surgical teams. However, the addition of PAs to surgical teams added a team member with a medical perspective that was different from everyone else’s. PAs are able to follow surgical patients through all the steps of the surgical process. This allows them to have a deeper knowledge of the patient’s case, putting them in a position to promote a culture of safety and reduce the risk of surgical errors. This study generates an idea of how the PA plays a role in lowering the risk of surgical errors by promoting a culture of safety. Their role was examined through research and interviews to determine what PAs do to promote patient safety. The results show PAs play an important role in the continuity of care and patient safety. Their position on the surgical team allows them to see patients before, during, and after care. This prolonged time spent with the patient gives the PA an opportunity to recognize possible complications and increase communication with the surgical team.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Adler Thesis Defense Presentation.pdf (698 kB)
Thesis Presentation