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March 1980

The Physician's Assistant as Resident on Surgical Service: An Example of Creative Problem Solving in Surgical Manpower

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery (Drs Frazier, Krizek, Baue and Mr Heinrich and Fichandler), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn, and the Department of Surgery (Dr Beinfield), Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, Conn.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(3):310-314. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380030056012

• A residency program for physician assistants (PAs) on a surgical service was undertaken to develop health professionals who could serve in a capacity similar to that of junior surgical residents helping to deliver preoperative and postoperative care under the supervision of surgeons and assisting in operations. As the number of approved surgical residencies and the number of individuals available for residency has decreased, a manpower void is occurring in some institutions in providing in-house services to surgical patients. The use of medical or family practice residents or full-time in-house surgeons is not totally satisfactory. A PA with special training in surgical case management and operative assisting meets many needs previously provided by surgical residents. The surgical PA is, indeed, a surgeon extender and seems, from our three-year experience, to be a good solution to this problem of surgical care in community hospitals. This program also provides an educational mission for the institution and the surgical staff.

(Arch Surg 115:310-314, 1980)

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