We hypothesized that physician assistants (PAs) will decrease surgery resident work hours and improve resident work outlook.
Surgical resident survey.
A county hospital in a university-based surgical residency program.
Surgery residents who switched (or "rotated") to the county hospital were polled monthly for 6 months after using PAs as team members on the surgical services.
Main Outcome Measures
Resident work hours and work outlook.
Surgery resident hours were significantly decreased by the fourth, fifth, and sixth months after PAs joined the surgical services. Despite what these data on resident hours suggest, 6 (60%) of 10 residents believed that the PAs had no influence on the amount of time the residents spend in the hospital. Six (60%) of 10 residents thought the PAs decreased stress levels and 6 (60%) of 10 residents thought the PAs helped to improve morale.
Physician assistants can have a positive influence on graduate surgical education programs. Physician assistants can help decrease surgery resident work hours and improve resident work outlook.