Does resident participation influence otolaryngology–head and neck surgery morbidity and mortality?

Nicholas B. Abt, Douglas D. Reh, David W. Eisele, Howard W. Francis, Christine G. Gourin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Patients may perceive resident procedural participation as detrimental to their outcome. Our objective is to investigate whether otolaryngology–head and neck surgery (OHNS) housestaff participation is associated with surgical morbidity and mortality. Study Design: Case-control study. Methods: OHNS patients were analyzed from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program 2006 to 2013 databases. We compared the incidence of 30-day postoperative morbidity, mortality, readmissions, and reoperations in patients operated on by resident surgeons with attending supervision (AR) with patients operated on by an attending surgeon alone (AO) using cross-tabulations and multivariable regression. Results: There were 27,018 cases with primary surgeon data available, with 9,511 AR cases and 17,507 AO cases. Overall, 3.62% of patients experienced at least one postoperative complication. The AR cohort had a higher complication rate of 5.73% than the AO cohort at 2.48% (P <.001). After controlling for all other variables, there was no significant difference in morbidity (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05 [0.89 to 1.24]), mortality (OR = 0.91 [0.49 to 1.70]), readmission (OR = 1.29 [0.92 to 1.81]), or reoperation (OR = 1.28 [0.91 to 1.80]) for AR compared to AO cases. There was no difference between postgraduate year levels for adjusted 30-day morbidity or mortality. Conclusions: There is an increased incidence of morbidity, mortality, readmission, and reoperation in OHNS surgical cases with resident participation, which appears related to increased comorbidity with AR patients. After controlling for other variables, resident participation was not associated with an increase in 30-day morbidity, mortality, readmission, or reoperation odds. These data suggest that OHNS resident participation in surgical cases is not associated with poorer short-term outcomes. Level of Evidence: 3b Laryngoscope, 126:2263–2269, 2016.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2263-2269
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
  • Resident
  • attending
  • housestaff
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • otolaryngology
  • outcomes
  • surgeon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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