Christopher Edelstein, PA-C

In the emergency department at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport, New York, Lawrence R. Schiff, MD, Director, Emergency Department, and Christopher Edelstein, MPAS, PA-C, work as a seamless team to care for the wide variety of patients and health conditions they see every day.

Year-round they deal with patients with chronic disease, managing often complex comorbidities and medications. During the summer, they see an increase in boating injuries, Lyme disease, heat exhaustion, and car accidents.

“Our patients expect the best treatment possible from the best medical staff,” says Edelstein. “More and more of them are looking up their providers on the internet, to ensure they have the certification, credentials and qualifications that make them comfortable.

“That is one of the reasons I earned Certificates of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Emergency Medicine and Hospital Medicine. Credentials give patients confidence, and physicians respect you if you know the latest studies and nomenclature and present it in a concise way. Preparing for the CAQ keeps you on top of your game.”

Edelstein--who has been a PA for 16 years and has experience in a Level 1 trauma hospital, surgery, toxicology, and orthopaedic surgery—has worked for six years at this small community hospital.

Given that PAs work with a collaborating physician, it is important that their relationship be strong. Dr. Schiff says, “Certified PAs help the physician by being able do most things a doctor does. We discuss each case, and they provide another set of eyes and hands. Chris knows medicine. We have an open dialogue, he knows when to involve me, and we back each other up.”

Edelstein, who serves as the team’s chief PA, also has a key role in the hiring process. Says Schiff, “I trust his judgment.”

The CAQ recognizes PAs who have completed rigorous requirements in their specialty, including substantial continuing medical education, specialty-related procedures and patient case management, and passing a specialty exam. Edelstein earned the CAQ in Emergency Medicine in 2011 and a CAQ in Hospital Medicine in 2014.

“I am always working to improve my skills and keep up with research on drug interactions and disease management to provide for critically ill patients,” he says.

Edelstein loves the community he serves. “I feel like I have an impact, taking care of patients and reassuring them they will be okay,” he says. “It brings me great satisfaction to see patients in the ER and then see them back at work and caring for their families.”