Orthopedic Physician Assistants

Muir Orthopaedic Specialists’ physician assistants are licensed healthcare professionals trained in performing comprehensive procedures and formulating treatment plans for orthopedic problems. Our physician assistants emphasize the prevention of illness and the promotion of health. In addition to health teaching and counseling, they can perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, assist in surgery, evaluate and clarify clinical conditions, prescribe and administer medication, and evaluate, screen and counsel patients on health maintenance. Physician assistants are individually licensed by the state in which they practice.

David Brand, MPA, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Kronick

David Brand Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About David

At Muir Orthopaedic Specialists, David works primarily with Dr. John Kronick, seeing patients in the Walnut Creek and Brentwood offices. Together they practice general orthopedic surgery with a special interest in hip and knee orthopedics. David is also a first assist in the operating room with total joint replacements, revisions, open and arthroscopic procedures and fracture care.

David began practicing as a physician assistant in 2007 after completing his master's degree in the physician assistant program at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, CA. David completed his undergraduate studies at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and received a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences with an emphasis in anatomy and physiology. His enthusiasm for sports medicine and orthopedics developed through his involvement in high school, collegiate and club sports. Compassionate and committed, David strives to provide excellent medical care, guidance and support to patients throughout the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

What patients say

"David Brand, PA-C, took his time to listen to my reason for making an appointment about my foot. He explained the examination as he went through the analysis. He was patient with my questions and thorough in his explanation. I did not feel hurried and he was gentle in administering the shots I received. Most of all he was patient and kind." — Jeffry-Lynn Dunne
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & Brentwood Request Appointment

Jonathan Coniglio, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Tischenko

Jonathan Coniglio | Muir Orth

About Jonathan

Jonathan received his physician assistant degree at Samuel Merritt University. He is also a certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is motivated by being able to help people who are in need, and has always had an interest in how the body allows people to perform movements, from brushing their teeth to participating in physical activities. He is most proud of being able to apply his knowledge of the human body to help people stay as active as they can be.

Jonathan is an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends most of his free time enjoying the East Bay area. On weekends he can be found hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and taking road trips. He also enjoys seafood and all of the great restaurants in the Bay Area.

What patients say

"Very impressed with Jonathan Coniglio, Dr. Tischinko's PA. He really zeroed in on the cause of my knee ache." —Barb B.
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & Brentwood Request Appointment

Emily Crow, PA-C, MPAS

Care Team: Dr. Crow

Emily Crow, PA | Muir Ortho | Concord, CA

About Emily

Emily Crow received her Bachelor of Science and physician assistant certificate from St. Louis University and her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Emily has experience assisting in the operating room, caring for patients in hospital and outpatient settings, and performing routine diagnostic exams and therapeutic injections. Emily works closely with her supervising physicians to provide the highest quality of specialty care.

According to Emily, the most rewarding part about her job is being able to watch patients transform from a disabling state to moving without pain. Emily enjoys being able to take the time to educate patients and their families about the details of orthopedic diagnoses and surgical procedures. In her spare time Emily enjoys competing in triathlons, running and cycling events. Most people don’t know that Emily has Type 1 diabetes and rides 100 miles in the Tour de Cure every year to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

What patients say

"Emily Crow is extraordinarily caring and thorough with her examination. I have the utmost confidence in her treatment." —Joe Bremhorst
Office Location: Concord & Walnut Creek Request Appointment

Gayle Fenner, MPA, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Fulkerson

Gayle Fenner | Muir Ortho

About Gayle

At MOS, Gayle primarily works with Dr. Eric Fulkerson in orthopedic trauma. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and a minor in biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She completed her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Samuel Merritt. Gayle understands the importance of doing everything she can to get patients back to their previous level of activity. She loves working with patients through the recovery process after having a broken bone or major trauma and coming up with a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific injury. Her enthusiasm and compassion for patients stems from a love of sports, having played in various team sports growing up and being treated for her own orthopedic injuries. Through these experiences, she developed a desired to treat injuries and help patients.

In addition to working at MOS, Gayle lives an active lifestyle. She volunteers in her free time to work with area youth and travels for volunteer medical trips. Gayle also enjoys snowboarding, dirt biking, wakeboarding, hiking and camping.

What patients say

"Ms. Fenner did an excellent job explaining the current status of my arm fractures and when to start rehab." — Dirk Fitzgerald
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & Brentwood Request Appointment

Michael Garcia, MHS, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Moorthy

Michael Garcia, MHS, PA-C | Muir Ortho

About Michael

Michael joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2016 and is a Bay Area native. He is a certified physician assistant (PA) who specializes in general orthopedics, foot and ankle, sports injuries and fractures. Michael received his Master of Health Sciences and physician assistant training from Duke University and his Bachelor of Science in physiology from San Francisco State University.

Michael enjoys establishing relationships with his patients and watching them progress through their pain or injury and returning to their regular activities.

Outside of the office, Michael enjoys hiking and cycling. He also enjoys traveling whether that be an international trip or a long weekend on his motorcycle. Michael is also fluent in Spanish.

What patients say

"Michael was really attentive and explained very well the kind of injury that I have and what I have to do to get better." — Liz
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & Brentwood Request Appointment

Bridget Garrehy, MPA, PA-C ATC

Care Team: Dr. Wiseman

Bridget Garrehy Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Bridget

Bridget joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in the spring of 2012 after completing her master's degree in the physician assistant program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. Bridget completed her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise and nutritional sciences/kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training.

Bridget is a San Ramon Valley native and began her sports medicine career working at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in the Physical Therapy department. Her passion for sports medicine and orthopedics continued to grow while working at her alma mater, Monte Vista High School, as the head athletic trainer for the football team. Bridget works primarily with Dr. Craig Wiseman, practicing general orthopedic surgery with a special interest in total joint replacement, trauma and sports medicine. Bridget used to play lacrosse and currently enjoys CrossFit and Pilates. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys watching professional sports.

What patients say

"Bridget gave me a thorough explanation of my swollen knee problem. She treated me (aspiration) as efficiently as possible knowing that it is not a comfortable one. I really felt like she cared. The next day my knee felt terrific! Thank you Bridget!" — Jennifer
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & Brentwood Request Appointment

Courtney Katz, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Calafi

Courtney Katz | Physician's Assistant | Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Courtney

Courtney joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in November of 2018. She works primarily with Dr. Leo Calafi specializing in orthopedic trauma. She received her master’s degree in physician assistant atudies at A.T. Still University and completed her undergraduate studies at University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to becoming a physician assistant, Courtney worked as an EMT.

Courtney’s enthusiasm for orthopedic trauma developed from her experiences working as an EMT, as well as working in the operating room and emergency department while in PA school. She finds it rewarding to be able to work with patients through the recovery process and help them regain function and mobility.

Outside of the office, Courtney volunteers to help the youth in her community. She volunteers for summer camps for kids that are recovering from injuries. Courtney has hosted healthcare conferences for high school students to expand their knowledge of medical careers and provide them with the resources to pursue a career in medicine. She also enjoys music, playing soccer, snowboarding and traveling.

Office Location: Walnut Creek Request Appointment

Christine Martinez, PA-C, MPAP

Care Team: Dr. Toma

Christine Martinez Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Christine

Christine joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in February 2013. She primarily works with Dr. Louay Toma in general orthopedics with an emphasis on hip and knee replacement. She assists in surgery and also enjoys treating patients in clinic, providing thorough patient care and education.

Christine has been working as an orthopedic PA since 2007, assisting in total knee and hip replacements and knee and shoulder arthroscopy. Since 2008, she has focused on patient care in the clinic and assisting in shoulder arthroscopy for difficult rotator cuff repairs and shoulder instability, as well as total shoulder and reverse total shoulder replacements. She brings a wealth of experience to Muir Orthopaedic Specialists. Christine obtained her master's degree in physician assistant practice from the University of Southern California in 2004. Originally from the Bay Area, she received her Bachelor of Science in human development from UC Davis.

Christine played sports throughout her academic career and has a great respect for orthopedic medicine and getting patients back to their active lifestyle. She enjoys spending time with her family and continues to stay active with CrossFit exercise, volleyball and dance.

What patients say

"Christine was very kind and explained the hip replacement to be done by Dr. Toma so we could understand. Very knowledgeable. Took her time and answered our questions. Very pleased!" — Kathy
Office Location: Walnut Creek Request Appointment

Rick Nolley, PA-C, MSPAS, MPH, CF-L1

Care Team: Dr. Bader

Rick Nolley, PA | Muir Ortho Physician Assistants

About Rick

Rick joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2016 as an assistant to Dr. Semon Bader in sports medicine. He grew up in Oakland and is a certified physician assistant (PA) and CrossFit trainer/coach. He earned dual master’s degrees in physician assistant sciences and public health at Touro University California in Vallejo, California in 2010. He obtained his Bachelor of Science from Howard University in 1997 in Washington, DC. He spent six years in private practice as an orthopedics spine surgical PA before transitioning to sports medicine.

Rick, together with Dr. Bader, specializes in sports medicine with an emphasis on shoulders and knees, treating patients of all ages. He appreciates having the opportunity to interact with patients and their families during the treatment process. He also enjoys being able to directly help improve patients' conditions as a surgical assistant.

Outside of the office, Rick is an avid fan and participant in CrossFit. He has competed in several local competitions and recently become a certified trainer and coach. He appreciates and believes in the benefits of physical fitness and its impact on quality of life and longevity. Rick also enjoys music, traveling, dining out and spending time with family.

What patients say

"Rick is a valuable asset to your team. He asked specific, targeted questions, responded knowledgeably to my questions, and his conclusions and recommendations were insightful, detailed, and delivered with confidence. It's apparent that he knows what he's doing, and that gave me confidence in him. Thank you." — Eric V.
Office Locations: Walnut CreekBrentwood & Concord Request Appointment

Lora Rancourt, MS, MPAP, PA-C

 

Lora Rancourt | Physician's Assistant | MS, MPAP, PA-C

About Lora

Lora Rancourt joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2018 and works at the Berkeley Outpatient Center. She earned her Bachelor of Science in athletic training from Northeastern University in 1999. Lora went on to earn a Master of Science in athletic training at Indiana State University in 2000 before pursuing a Master of Physician Assistant Practice in 2011 from the University of Southern California. Lora has enjoyed being a physician assistant (PA) since 2011.

After suffering a sports injury in high school, Lora needed knee surgery. During her treatment she met many healthcare professionals. From her experience in high school and being influenced by her mother who is a nurse, Lora also entered the healthcare field.

In her free time Lora loves hanging out with her husband and their boxer. She also enjoys yoga and hiking. Lora is a huge Boston sports fan, born and raised, and considers it her religion. Lora is looking forward to exploring San Francisco after living in Southern California for 15 years.

Office Location: Berkeley Outpatient Center

Rachel Robertson, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Michlitsch

Rachel Robertson | Physician's Assistant | Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Rachel

Rachel Robertson joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2018 and primarily works with Dr. Michael Michlitsch. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Syracuse University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Rachel attended Le Moyne College’s physician assistant studies program.

Having grown up in the Bay Area, Rachel is proud to be helping people in her hometown area. She is focused on returning people to their active lifestyles.

Rachel feels a connection to the local sports teams. She even grew up playing for the San Jose Jr. Sharks. In her free time Rachel enjoys playing ice hockey, practicing yoga and cheering on the Warriors, Sharks and Giants. Rachel also enjoys spending time at Lake Tahoe.

What patients say

"Rachel Robertson was very professional, and the medical assistant was as well." — Anonymous
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & San Ramon Request Appointment

Megan Smith, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Kou

Megan Smith | Muir Ortho

About Megan

Megan started at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in November of 2014 after finishing her studies at University of California, Davis’ physician assistant program. Megan majored in kinesiology focusing in pre-physical therapy and exercise physiology at Sonoma State University. There she worked hard to receive the honor of cum laude.

She specializes in foot and ankle treatments, and loves using her knowledge of human anatomy to give people the proper tools to get back to their full potential.

She is an East Bay native who attended Miramonte High School. It was her work as a student athletic trainer with Mats football that led her to become interested in the healthcare field. In her free time Megan is found cheering on Giants baseball, in the kitchen experimenting with recipes or enjoying the outdoors. She competes in Hunter-Jumpers and looks forward to horseback riding more often now that she’s back in the Bay Area.

What patients say

"Megan was GREAT! She was very nice to deal with. She explained what was going on in an easy to understand manner and was very patient explaining to me and my daughter how to manage the problem." — Katya
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & San Ramon Request Appointment

Zachary Symmes, MSPA, PA-C

Care Team: Dr. Qureshi

Zachary T. Symmes, MSPA, PA-C | Muir Ortho

About Zachary

Zachary joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2015. He primarily works with Dr. Abid Qureshi specializing in spine orthopedic pathology. He sees new patients, rechecks postoperative patients and assists in surgery.

Zachary has a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Western University of Health Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in biology from San Diego State University where he graduated summa cum laude.

A natural Mr. Fix-it type, Zachary loves human anatomy, building projects and working with his hands. This drive also extends to his interest in helping patients recover from surgery or injury and live healthy lifestyles.

His foundation for health began with personal training. He enjoys a variety of sports, including Tough Mudder runs, rock climbing, tennis and mountain biking. When not working, he can be found hiking with his wife and dog, cheering for the San Francisco Giants or working on cars in his garage.

What patients say

"Zachary was a good listener and provided all the options for remedies and the geographical options for PT. I especially liked observing the exact condition of my spine (X-rays) and learning about the source of my pain." — Fernando
Office Locations: Walnut Creek & San Ramon Request Appointment

Joe Torres MPA, PA-C

Care Team: Orthopaedic Express

JJoe Torres Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Joe

Joe Torres joined Muir Orthopaedic Specialists in 2005 as a physician assistant with Dr. Donald Lewis. When Orthopaedic Express by MOS opened he became the director and PA for the department. He enjoys treating patients and seeing them quickly return to an active work and home life. Since he joined the team, he has gained valuable professional skills that will enhance his ability to assist with patient care. He is courteous and treats his patients with respect. Joe's enthusiasm and caring personality complement his expertise by adding a personal touch that is as reassuring as it is therapeutic. The challenges of orthopedic health care delivered in the 21st century bring opportunity for efficiency and great potential for creativity; Joe is up to the challenge.

What patients say

"Joseph Torres rocks! He is a wonderful listener, has a sense of humor and knows his stuff!" — Debby Mayer
Office Location: Orthopaedic Express Request Appointment

Tiffany Waters, PA-C, MMS, ATC

Care Team: All Doctors

Tiffany Waters Muir Orthopaedic Specialists

About Tiffany

Tiffany has been working at Muir Orthopaedic Specialists since 2004 as a physician assistant. She is a first assist in the operating room with total joint replacements, revisions, open and arthroscopic procedures and fracture care.

Tiffany completed her Master of Medical Science degree in physician assistant studies at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, before joining MOS. Her master's program was clinical studies based and focused on orthopedics. She completed her undergraduate studies at Azusa Pacific University and received a Bachelor of Arts in physical education with an emphasis in athletic training. Tiffany obtained her national certification as an athletic trainer in 2000; she utilizes this training to educate and assist patients in rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.

What patients say

"She took the time to explain X-ray results visually. Very thorough and understanding. Compassionate and a good listener. Answered all my questions completely." — Myra
Office Location: Walnut Creek Request Appointment