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Defining the role of advanced care practitioners in pediatric surgery practice. J Pediatr Surg 2021 Dec;56(12):2263-2269



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INTRODUCTION: The role of advanced care practitioners (ACPs) in pediatric surgery is increasingly important and not well described.

METHODS: Electronic surveys were sent to pediatric surgery division chiefs within the Children's Hospital Association.

RESULTS: We received 77/163 survey responses (47%). The median number of ACPs per service was 3.0 (range 0-35). ACP number correlated with inpatient census, surgeon number, case volume, trauma centers, intensive care unit status, and fellowship programs but not with presence of residents/hospitalists, hospital setting, or practice type. Nearly all programs incorporated nurse practitioners while almost half utilized physician assistants. Approximately one-third of ACPs were designated for subspecialties (35%) such as trauma and colorectal. Only 9% of centers had surgeon-specific ACPs. ACP responsibilities included both inpatient and outpatient tasks. Nearly all ACPs participated in procedures (89%), mostly bedside (80%). All ACPs worked daytime shifts, with less nights and weekends. Most ACPs billed for services (80%). Satisfaction with ACP coverage was widespread and did not correlate with ACP number. Most respondents felt that ACPs enhance, and not hinder, resident/fellow training (85%).

CONCLUSION: ACPs are useful adjuncts in pediatric surgery. A better understanding of practice patterns may help optimize utilization to enhance patient care and can be used to advocate for appropriate resources.

Author List

Rich BS, Fishbein J, Ricca RL, Moriarty KP, Short J, Trudeau MO, Kim SS, Rollins M, Van Arendonk KJ, Gadepalli SK, Raval MV, Dasgupta R, Rothstein DH, Glick RD, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery Delivery of Surgical Care Committee


Kyle Van Arendonk MD, PhD Assistant Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Intensive Care Units
Nurse Practitioners
Physician Assistants
Specialties, Surgical