• Privileges, Surgical Assistant

    All family medicine residents should demonstrate competence in providing basic pre- and post-operative care, recognizing patients requiring acute surgical intervention, diagnosing surgical problems, and using sterile technique. This experience should include hospitalized surgical patients and operating room experience, in addition to outpatient experience. Every resident should have had exposure to a variety of medical and surgical subspecialties. Based on their training, experience, and demonstrated current competence family physicians are well qualified to assist at surgery. In addition to providing skilled technical assistance, a family physician assisting at surgery will:

    1. Ensure comprehensive and continuous care of the individual patient
    2. Provide important psychological support and safety
    3. Provide clinical correlation with surgical findings at the time of the operation
    4. Provide or assist in provision of pre- and postoperative care, including technical and psychological components
    5. Coordinate and support in communication and rapport between the surgeons, the patient and the patient's family, and act as the patient's advocate in obtaining appropriate, comprehensive, and coordinated care. Physician assistance at surgery, which is clinically necessary for improved patient outcome, should be fairly compensated by all payers of health care.

    As a member of the medical staff and the patient's attending physician, the exercise of a family physician's privilege to assist at surgery shall not be superseded by a surgical residency program's rules or regulations regarding surgical assistance.

    When hospital rules require surgical assistance on cases, non-physician surgical assisting should be acceptable only in individual cases where appropriate family physician or other physician assistance is unavailable. (1988) (October 2023 BOD)