SEVERAL MONTHS ago, a commentary appeared in this journal1 estimating the dollar replacement value of surgical residents to community teaching hospitals, and comparing the cost of supporting junior faculty with the cost of replacing surgical residents with physician assistants. Some readers may have misinterpreted the commentary as being anti–physician assistant. In fact, the opposite is true. The author is a strong proponent of increasing the physician assistant participation in patient care in teaching hospitals, and creating mechanisms for the simultaneous training of physician assistants alongside surgical residents.
McMillen MA, West P. The Value of Physician Assistants to Surgical Education in Teaching Hospitals. Arch Surg. 1999;134(4):445-447. doi:10.1001/archsurg.134.4.445