April 05, 2022

Meet Tricia Gorenc, PA 

Physician Assistant and Lead APP

Tricia treats patients at the both Orthopedic Injury Clinics, Children's Specialty Care Center WestChildren's Speciality Care Center South County, as well as at the Orthopedic Center in Chesterfield

Where are you from?

I grew up all over the U.S. I was born in Georgia, subsequently moved to California, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Chicago. Missouri is the 7th state I’ve resided in!  

What made you choose orthopedics as a specialty?

I landed in pediatric orthopedics by chance after working for a couple of great surgeons as a medical assistant at the University of Wisconsin while applying to PA school. I tried to keep an open mind in PA school to other specialties, but nothing compared. I love the hands-on nature of the specialty. I started my career in the operating room, doing inpatient and emergency room procedures, and then moved to the outpatient setting.

What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics?

I have been with the department since September 2017. I was looking for an opportunity that would challenge me, allow me to practice more autonomously and be closer to family.  

What is your role as Lead APP?

As our Department’s advanced-practice provider (APP) team – such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants – has grown considerably over the past several years, so did the need for more representation, leadership and structural organization for our team. What started as an APP leadership counsel later evolved to a formal leadership position. I was honored to accept the role as Lead APP in the fall of 2020. Our team now includes 18 outpatient orthopedic PAs and NPs – and it is still growing! I am honored to lead, represent, advocate for and work alongside these amazing providers. This has been an amazing opportunity to highlight their contributions, build awareness, create more leadership opportunities and ensure that APPs have a voice in places where decisions are made!

What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding? 

Orthopedics is so rewarding in being one of the few specialties that you feel healed or cured after treatment. We help fix a problem and patients are often discharged to return to the activities that bring them joy. I also love being able to work with children on a daily basis.

What ages do you treat?

All Ages. My passion is in pediatrics, but my practice has expanded over the years and through the injury clinic, I can treat across the entire life span.

What's the biggest difference in treating patients of different ages?

Kids have smaller bones - ha! Jokes aside, they each come with different rewards and challenges. Working with kids has a certain joy and lightness, even when they are hurting. But it is also very rewarding to help someone get out of pain and back to normal life, work or doing the activities they enjoy!

What’s the best advice you ever received and who/what was it from?

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love," St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I spend a lot of my time outside of work walking or hiking with my dog (Toby), working out, staying involved at my church, traveling, or staying connected with friends and family. 

If you weren’t a physician assistant, what would you like to be doing?  

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to work in health care, so likely some other allied health career - PT/OT, genetic counseling, midwife. However, I could see my interests leading me down a lot of paths - from being a lawyer to being a travel blogger! 

Learn why patient's choose Washington University Orthopedics, or schedule a same-day visit at the Orthopedic Injury Clinic.

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