There is an increase in the amount of time required to perform an operation when the procedure involves training a surgical resident. This increased time does not translate into a financial burden for the hospital.
Retrospective review of prospectively collected data. During the study period, surgeons and residents were blinded to the study's intent. We compared the operative times of academic surgeons performing 4 common surgical procedures before and after the introduction of a postgraduate year 3 resident into a community teaching hospital. Between January 1, 2001, and June 30, 2002, 4 academic surgeons performed operations without a resident in a community hospital that was recently integrated into a tertiary medical center system. During that period, surgeons operated alone (hernia surgery) or assisted one another (laparoscopic cholecystectomy, colectomy, and carotid endarterectomy). From July 1, 2002, through March 31, 2003, these same 4 surgeons were assisted by a postgraduate year 3 resident on similar procedures.
Community hospital recently integrated into a tertiary medical center system.
Four experienced academic surgeons operating in the community setting and patients undergoing 1 of 4 surgical procedures (inguinal hernia repair, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, partial colectomy, or carotid endarterectomy) from January 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003.
The introduction of a postgraduate year 3 surgical resident rotation into a community hospital in which the same academic surgeons had been performing operations without a resident for 18 months.
Main Outcome Measures
Mean operating time with and without a postgraduate year 3 resident participating in 4 common surgical procedures.
For the 4 procedures studied, there was a significant increase in the operative time required to complete such procedures.
There is an increased time cost associated with the operative training of surgical residents. This "cost" primarily impacts the attending surgeon.