Background : Funding for graduate medical education is at risk despite the services provided by residents.
Objective : We quantified the potential monetary value of services provided by on-call orthopedic surgery residents.
Methods : We conducted a prospective, cross-sectional, multicenter cohort study design. Over a 90-day period in 2014, we collected data on consults by on-call orthopedic surgery residents at 4 tertiary academic medical centers in the United States. All inpatient and emergency department consults evaluated by first-call residents during the study period were eligible for inclusion. Based on their current procedural terminology codes, procedures and evaluations for each consult were assigned a relative value unit and converted into a monetary value to determine the value of services provided by residents. The primary outcome measures were the total dollar value of each consult and the percentage of resident salaries that could be funded by the generated value of the resident consult services.
Results : In total, 2644 consults seen by 33 residents from the 4 institutions were included for analysis. These yielded an average value of $81,868 per center for the 90-day study period, that is, $327,471 annually. With a median resident stipend of $53,992, the extrapolated average percentage of resident stipends that could be funded by these consult revenues was 73% of the stipends of the residents who took call or 36% of the stipends of the overall resident cohort.
Conclusions : The potential monetary value generated by on-call orthopedic surgery residents is substantial.
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