Katie Riley is a certified physician assistant in National Spine & Pain Centers’ Reston and Lansdowne, VA offices where she works with Dr. Rae J. Davis and Dr. Virgil A. Balint.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University, Riley spent almost 10 years as a web developer and designer before she found herself drawn back to the career she first considered as a teenager. “My mom was a nurse and I originally thought about majoring in nursing in college, but I decided to go a different way,” Riley recalled. “But after 10 years of sitting behind a desk, I realized I needed to go where my heart really was—and that was toward a career in medicine.”
While serving as an Americorps volunteer after earning her undergraduate degree, Riley says she realized she had a strong desire to help people. Even while working as a web designer, she still found time to serve others. She took an eight-week sabbatical to Armenia to teach children English and computer skills and found the trip beyond rewarding.
Her evolution from web designer to physician assistant included work as a certified massage therapist, volunteer EMT and physical therapy assistant. Each position gave Riley a new perspective and appreciation of the human body and the human condition. Realizing that she wanted to do even more to help people in pain, she went on to earn her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from West Liberty University in West Liberty, W.VA.
“My massage training has given me a greater sense of intuition about the physical body and the location of pain people are experiencing, while my strong listening skills allow me to develop a holistic picture of what people are feeling and what we need to work on to get them feeling better,” she said.
In her free time, Riley enjoys trying out new recipes, biking the trails of Northern Virginia and attending concerts at Wolf Trap.
Alexandria, VA (Mt. Vernon) Office
8101 Hinson Farm Road, Suite 308
Alexandria, VA 22306