Background: To simulate the duties and responsibilities of an attending surgeon and allow senior residents more intraoperative and perioperative autonomy, our program created a new resident acute care surgery consult service.
Methods: We structured resident acute care surgery as a new admitting and inpatient consult service managed by chief and senior residents with attending supervision. When appropriate, the chief resident served as a teaching assistant in the operation. Outcomes were recorded prospectively and reviewed at weekly quality improvement conferences. The following information was collected: (1) teaching assistant case logs for senior residents preimplentation (n = 10) and postimplementation (n = 5) of the resident acute care surgery service; (2) data on the proportion of each case performed independently by residents; (3) resident evaluations of the resident acute care surgery versus other general operative services; (4) consult time for the first 12 months of the service (June 2014 to June 2015).
Results: During the first year after implementation, the number of total teaching assistant cases logged among graduating chief residents increased from a mean of 13.4 ± 13.0 (range 4-44) for preresident acute care surgery residents to 30.8 ± 8.8 (range 27-36) for postresident acute care surgery residents (P < .01). Of 323 operative cases, the residents performed an average of 82% of the case independently. There was a significant increase in the satisfaction with the variety of cases (mean 5.08 vs 4.52, P < .01 on a 6-point Likert scale) and complexity of cases (mean 5.35 vs 4.94, P < .01) on service evaluations of resident acute care surgery (n = 27) in comparison with other general operative services (n = 127). In addition, creation of a 1-team consult service resulted in a more streamlined consult process with average consult time of 22 minutes for operative consults and 25 minutes for nonoperative consults (range 5-90 minutes).
Conclusion: The implementation of a resident acute care surgery service has increased resident autonomy, teaching assistant cases, and satisfaction with operative case variety, as well as the efficiency of operative consultation at our institution.
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