What is the Resident Perception of Physician Assistants in an Oral and Maxillofacial Training Program?

Vickas Agarwal, Joshua Hockaday, Kari Teigen, John P. Stella, Thomas Schlieve, Roderick Y. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Physician assistants (PAs) are not employed in a widespread manner in the academic oral and maxillofacial surgery setting despite being able to assist with resident workload. We aim to measure residents’ perception of PAs employed by an academic oral and maxillofacial surgery department after the addition of 2 PAs to the department. Methods: The investigators conducted an anonymous cross-sectional survey study addressing resident perception of PA's on reducing their working hours, the scope of PA's role, and the positive and negatives of working with a PA. The survey was distributed to current oral and maxillofacial surgery residents, non-categorical interns, and recent graduates at Parkland Memorial Hospital and John Peter Smith Hospital between November 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021. A follow-up survey to collect demographic data was distributed between May 20, 2021 and June 10, 2021. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the results, with bootstrapping techniques to calculate 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Investigators contacted 54 residents and recent alumni, and 31 (57%) responded to the original survey and 32 responded to the follow-up survey. All respondents agreed that the addition of PAs decreased resident workload (100%; 95% CI). The majority stated PAs should assist with rounding on inpatients (61%; 95% CI), in hospital consultations (52%; 95% CI), clinic appointments (74%; 95% CI), and patient care coordination (97%; 95% CI). Only 29% (95% CI) stated that PAs should be assisting in the operating room. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that residents perceive the addition of PAs to the academic oral and maxillofacial surgery program to be beneficial when it comes to reducing overall workload and increasing potential educational opportunities, by assisting with care coordination, outpatient appointments, and inpatient rounding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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