Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants

Physician Group

Summit Orthopedics utilizes Physician Assistants (PAs) to enhance are patient-care services and improve accessibility to skilled health care services. You may interact with one of our three PAs during your care with us. Below is a description of a Physician Assistant and their scope of practice.

What is a Physician Assistant? 

A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed healthcare professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. Our PAs are graduates of accredited PA educational programs and are nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with direct or indirect supervision of a physician.

By design, physicians and PAs work together as a team. PAs are trained and educated similarly to physicians, and therefore share similar diagnostic and therapeutic reasoning. Physician-PA practice can be described as delegated autonomy. Physicians delegate duties to PAs, and within those range of duties, PAs use autonomous decision-making for patient care. This team model is an efficient way to provide high-quality medical care.

PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education/counseling, and make rounds in hospitals. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications.

If there is a PA in your group practice, you can certainly request to be seen by her. PAs deliver high-quality care, and research shows that patients are just as satisfied with PA-provided care as they are with physician care.

For more information please visit:

Andrea Elliott, PA-C

A Minnesota native, Andrea received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from University of Wisconsin. She went on to receive her Masters of Health Science and Physician Assistant certification at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Andrea joined Summit Orthopedics in September 2005 and assists Dr. Michael Goldsmith in the office, hospital, and surgical settings.

Being in healthcare setting most of her life Andrea has always been drawn to a career in orthopedics. She believes her own love of staying active is what helps her relate to her patients’ desires to get back to doing the activities they love.
Andrea is currently a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). She resides in Poolesville, MD and enjoys bicycling, running, swimming, horseback riding, golf and spending time with her husband and two kids.

Beth Riggs, PA-C, ATC

Beth is a board certified Physician Assistant working with Dr. Philip Bobrow, who specializes in adult reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee, as well as sports medicine and general orthopedic surgery. Beth received a Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from Duquesne University located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also played NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer for four years which helped her have a better understanding for sports medicine. After college she worked as an Athletic Trainer for a year and half in Frederick, Maryland before furthering her education.

She received a Masters in Physician Assistant studies from New York Institute of Technology, located in Old Westbury, New York and completed her clinical clerkships in the New York metropolitan area. She currently resides in Washington, DC and enjoys being active and spending time with her friends and family.

Sarah A. Durham, MPH, PA-C

Sarah joined Summit Orthopedics in April 2012 and works with physiatrist, Dr. Erik Dahl to manage patients with painful spinal and musculoskeletal conditions. Using a conservative multidisciplinary approach, it is her goal to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient’s unique needs. In this position, she enjoys learning from her patients with the intention of engaging her time, knowledge, and resources to improve their lifestyles safely and effectively.

Sarah is originally from Houston, TX and prior to attending graduate school, worked at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as a research assistant in the department of epidemiology. There, she participated in research investigating the multifactorial etiologies of pain in addition to a variety of studies investigating the genetic determinants of breast, lung and brain tumors. In the year prior to beginning graduate school, she worked at the Micheal E. DeBakey Veteran’s Hospital in the department of infectious disease continuing with research as a coordinator for the Veteran’s Aging Cohort Study.

In 2008, desiring a closer and more direct relationship to patient care, Sarah moved to Washington, DC to attend the dual degree PA/MPH program at George Washington University. During her training, she served as the program’s assembly representative to the Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. In 2011, she graduated with an MPH in Health Policy and MSHS in Physician Assistant Studies. She is a certified physician assistant by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and holds physician assistant licenses in Maryland, Virginia, and The District of Columbia. She is an active professional member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Sarah also has a long history pursuing professional ballet dancing and now incorporates this special interest into her current profession as a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.


Please contact our office
Chevy Chase Building
5530 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 1660
Chevy Chase, Maryland, MD 20815
Phone: (301) 657-9876
Fax: (301) 657-9876


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