VIVA Physician Assistant Achieves a First in Virginia

In 2015, Newsletter, Volume 7 Issue 1 by Addison Clark

Suzanne Shelling, PA-C, MPAS, of Virginia Interventional & Vascular Associates (VIVA) has become the first physician assistant in Virginia to complete the extensive requirements for using fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy involves taking real-time X-rays for numerous purposes including guidance of interventional radiology procedures.

In order to become registered by the Virginia Board of Medicine, Suzanne had to complete a 40-hour continuing medical education course and 40 hours of clinical experience supervised by a qualified physician. She also needed to pass the certification test given by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

“We are proud of Suzanne’s accomplishment and grateful for her willingness to complete the requirements for expanding her role in patient care,” said R. Donald Doherty Jr., MD, medical director of VIVA and a board-certified, fellowship-trained interventional radiologist.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill in 2012 enabling qualified physician assistants to use fluoroscopy. Jennifer Dawson, NP-C, VIVA Director, said allowing physician assistants to use fluoroscopy helps reduce radiation exposure and increase patient safety. “In practices such as ours, physician assistants who perform procedures using fluoroscopic guidance can be more effective in radiation dose management when executing this function independently,” she explained.


Pictured above is Suzanne Shelling