Surgery Residency

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens

Surgery Residency

Physician Assistants in Surgery at NYPQ

One of the greatest contributions that physician assistants provide is the continuity of care that they provide for patients. The complexity of care for the hospitalized patient has increased yearly. In our teaching hospital the monthly rotation of residents through the various teams and services often places novice physicians in a complex clinical setting. Physician Assistants serve as a “tie line” and not only preserve continuity but also help ensure that patient therapeutics and procedures are carried out within the guidelines established by the department of surgery. Surgical residents need time for electives and research to meet their educational requirements. Physician Assistants provide the workforce to allow broader educational experiences for surgical residents and to be an asset to their educational experience as well.

In 1979 the hospital was concerned with the potential loss of surgical residents. Physician Assistants were implemented as a new workforce within the Department of Surgery. To date, the department of surgery has over 45 years-experience with the utilization of Physician Assistants. All our Physician Assistants are graduates of approved Physician Assistant Program’s and hold and maintain current NCCPA Certification. All have completed Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support and Fundamental Critical Care Support Courses.

Levels of clinical expectations are related to clinical resident education at our teaching institution. All entry level PAs begin at the PGY- 1 level. Total Number of hours worked is among 37.5 - 60 hours a week.

Physician Assistants are a viable alternative for staffing. Due to the ACGME 80-hour work week and the future predication with the IOM recommendations of further work hour reductions, specialty practice has emerged within the Department of Surgery as well. Currently we have PA’s in ENT, Neurosurgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery. These specialty PA’s have had a huge impact on these services not only providing excellent clinical care but reducing the length of hospital stay and being a liaison between nursing, residents, and the attending surgeons.

The PAs in the Department of Surgery at NYPQ are credentialed to perform common beside procedures. On occasion PAs have gone past these commonly performed procedures and have been credentialed to perform and supervise others in advance techniques. All related complications are subjected to review through surgical quality improvement and quality issues are addressed in the same fashion as the resident and attending physicians. We do not establish arbitrary guidelines regarding PA credentialing but rather promote continued intellectual and technical growth.

There has been a high level of satisfaction among patients, families, nursing, ancillary staff, surgical residents and attending physicians. The PAs are widely accepted and are integrate members of the surgical team in surgery at NYPQ.