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Hello, 

In my pre-pa club a member asked a question about surgery for PA’s. The question was “Is it true that in order to assist in surgery you need to do an extra year of schooling after your PA program? Do this require you to pay more for school? Is this included in your PA schooling years or would you need to reapply for that surgical year?” 

I thought it was an excellent set of questions, which I would like more answers for. 

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No. Plenty of folks are hired right out of school into surgical positions.

There are, however, several optional surgical residencies available to PA-Cs. They usually last a year and pay something in the neighborhood of $50,000. You may be able to defer student loan payments during residency.

Residencies can be very intensive, and there’s no denying that the experience is incredibly valuable, especially for someone just starting out as a practitioner.

PA residencies are available for a lot of other specialties, too, but seats are limited. There’s usually an application process requiring letters of recommendations and the like.

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      References

      1. Kurzweg FT. The patient, his surgeon and the record. In: The Surgeon’s Handbook. Garden City, N.Y.: Medical Examination Publishing Company , Inc.; 1982: 3.

      2. Position statement of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. One Perioperative Registered Nurse Circulator Dedicated to every Patient Undergoing a Surgical or Other Invasive Procedure. http://www.aorn.org/Clinical_Practice/Position_Statements/Position_Statements.aspx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Conditions of participation for hospitals: surgical services. http://www.cms.gov/manuals/downloads/som107ap_a_hospitals.pdf. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      4. Sweeny F. Who’s the person giving my anesthesia? In: Sweeny F. The Anesthesia Fact Book. Perseus Publications; 2003: 3-12.

      5. University of Cincinnati Residents, Berry S. The Mont Reid Surgical Handbook. 4th ed. Mosby;1997.

      6. Sumpter R. Anesthesia. In: Labus JB. The Physician Assistant Surgical Handbook. W.B. Saunders; 1998: 19.

      7. All about anesthesia. American Association of Registered Nurse Anesthetists. http://www.aana.com/forpatients/Pages/All-About-Anesthesia.aspx. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      8. Facts about AAs. American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants website. http://www.anesthetist.org/factsaboutaas/. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      9. Weis MK. The first assistant and collaborative practice. In: Rothrock JC, Seifert PC. Assisting in Surgery: Patient-Centered Care. Competency & Credentialing Institute; 2009: 387-405.

      10. American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants website. www.aaspa.net. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      11. Blumm RM, Condit D. Surgical physician assistants help solve contemporary problems. Bull Amer Coll Surg. 2003;88(6):14-18. http://www.facs.org/fellows_info/bulletin/2003/blummcondit0603.pdf. Accessed Dec. 27, 2011.

      12. Manz EA, et al. Clipping, prepping and draping for surgical procedures. Managing Infection Control. 2006;August: 84-97.

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