Four years ago, the Department of Surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn, began an important educational experiment to teach surgical subjects to the trained physician's assistant (PA). In this issue, Heinrich and others (p 310) describe the working out of that experiment at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, Conn, where the four-year surgical residency program for physicians was discontinued in 1975. The surgical faculty at Yale University established a structured program of surgical training for PAs who had completed their usual two-year period of education.
As Heinrich et al point out, the successful establishment of a surgical residency program for PAs has not been free of problems. In addition to those mentioned in the article, certain semantic and grammatical issues have accompanied the growth of the PA movement in the last decade. For example, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) used the term "Physicians'" in its