Matthew W. Guffey is our Physician Assistant. Matthew attended the University of Alabama, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He was then introduced to surgery and the Physician Assistant profession while working as a surgical technician in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he earned a second B.S. degree as a physician assistant. He began his career in medicine in Birmingham, and moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he served as a board member of the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants.
His experience includes assisting in vascular, thoracic and general surgery, as well as general orthopaedic surgery. Matthew moved to Atlanta in 2005 to join Plas T. James, M.D. and his team at the Atlanta Spine Institute. Matthew is a board certified physician assistant, licensed by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and Georgia Board of Medical Examiners.
Matthew assists Dr. James with all phases of clinical, surgical, and hospital care. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care in the tradition of the Atlanta Spine Institute.
What is a Physician Assistant?
The Physician Assistant (PA) profession was founded in the early 1960s when army corpsmen began returning from Vietnam. The first PA program started at Duke University to provide formal training to these highly experienced veterans, who were educated to assess, diagnose, implement treatment plans, and assist in surgery. From the 1960s to the present the PA profession has grown tremendously. There are now 120 PA programs around the country and more than 40,000 practicing PAs.
Today, PAs are still trained under the same medical model as doctors. In addition, the curriculum emphasizes development of interpersonal skills to ensure better communication and care for patients. PAs interview, examine, diagnose, assist during operative procedures and hospital rounds, and take calls after office hours. PAs are trained to perform all of these duties under the supervision of their sponsoring physician.