Michelle Riley, PA-C

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Why did you join AAOS?
I initially joined AAOS when I moved from New York to California as a way of networking and continuing to stay in touch with my New York colleagues every year at the Academy. As I started attending the annual conference, I realized it's such a great way of continuing my education. Now that I focus primarily on Adult Reconstruction in our practice, I find the AAOS Annual Meeting, emails and articles are a great way to stay in tune with other sub-specialties.
How do you define success?
I measure success in the health and happiness of those around me. It is imperative that my patients know that I care and want them to do well and feel good. I want my MD, RN, NP, PA, and scrub tech colleagues to know we are team and every individual is an important link in the chain. And if I can roll that all together with a healthy and happy family I feel like my time and energy has been well spent and successful.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration is my personal life is my mom. She held down the career/family balance long before a lot of mothers were doing that and has made an impact in so many people’s lives. My biggest inspiration in my career is my boss, Brad Penenberg. I've never met a more ethical doctor and overall human. He will always do what is right for a patient, even if it isn't the easiest option. He treats the patient with no bank account the same as the person with 3 commas in their bank account. He taught me that patients with challenging personalities and/or social issues "still have real pathology and if we don't take care of them somebody else will and may not give them the care we can provide."
What do you love most about AAOS?
I love the Annual Meeting the most. I love learning advancements in my field, other specialties and catching up with ex-colleagues that now live different parts of the country/world.
What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?
Read every article, look at every poster and attend Specialty Day every year at the Annual Meeting.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?  
I'm the youngest of five kids and was raised very closely with my six cousins. I feel like interacting with so many different personalities from such a young age has helped me see things from different perspectives and helps me navigate through the world in a less biased manner.