Postgraduate Residency for Physician Assistants in Surgery
Montefiore's Physician Assistant residency is the oldest postgraduate residency program in the country. In 1971, just six years after the Physician Assistant profession was founded, Montefiore became the first hospital to include PA's as house officers on inpatient surgical services. Those PA's quickly became an integral part of the surgical team at Montefiore and their clinical experience was formalized into a 12 month residency in general surgery and surgical specialties.
In 1978, a pre-internship didactic phase was added in order to provide a firm scientific foundation for the clinical phase of the program. The current residency is still structured in this way, that is, with a classroom based educational program followed by clinical rotations. Our program attracts both new graduates wanting a broad and intense experience in acute care patient management, as well as PA's in practice who desire to redirect their careers or to acquire new specialty skills.
Why a Residency in Surgery?
At Montefiore you will obtain the three elements required to make a PA stand out and above his or her peers. Firstly, there is knowledge. At least 50 hours of Category One CME is awarded for each PA resident. More is available through Department of Surgery sponsored national symposia and other interdepartmental events.
Secondly, you acquire surgical technique first-assisting with nearly 50 surgeons in varied disciplines at the aforementioned institutions in a great variety of settings. Each follow a basic approach but each has a, "the way I do it..." variation in technique and instrument choice.
Thirdly and most important, you will acquire judgment. Working with such a large and varied surgical faculty you will be exposed to their personal "spins" on patient management, surgical technique, etc. You will take with you what works and discard what doesn't.
Judgment of when and how to act and more importantly what your limitations are and when not to act only come from experience. Acquiring judgment will always assure your patients the best and safest care at all times.
It is possible to practice medicine and not understand the surgical patient. It is impossible to practice surgery without an extensive knowledge of medicine and the physiologic ramifications an incision alone imparts on a patient. Postgraduate education has proven its value in training PAs to achieve the highest level of surgical proficiency in a concentrated time frame.