Raisa Polacek is a native Clevelander who is a graduate of Cuyahoga Community College in 1990. She has practiced as a Cardio-Thoracic physician assistant at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation since 1991.
Ms. Polacek became interested in the physician assistant profession in the 1981 while working on her under graduate studies at Cuyahoga Community College. The program required medical experience therefore; she set on a path to become a medical assistant to achieve this requirement. She began working for a podiatrist who employed a physician assistant in 1985. These individuals helped Raisa gain skills in history and physicals and assisting in surgery. After her father fell ill to heart disease in 1988, she had the opportunity to observe physician assistants working in Cardio-thoracic surgery where she became excited at the growing possibilities for physician assistants.
Following completion of the physician assistant program, Ms. Polacek worked in General Surgery at Fairview hospital while advancing her surgical skills. After a year she was given the opportunity to work in cardio-thoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where she currently mentors new physician assistants in her department and precepts various physician assistant students from numerous physician assistant programs.
Ms. Polacek acquired a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management then went on to achieve her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies from Nebraska University. She was a trustee on the board of the Physician Assistant History Society and is a test writer for the CAQ Cardio-Thoracic specialty exam. In her spare time she enjoys her family and heart healthy activities.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Raisa Polacek and was submitted to the Society in May 2015. The photographs are courtesy of Ms. Polacek. The banner photograph is of Raisa Polacek with a surgeon.