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General Surgery Demographics

Posted by medliorator on August 25, 2008

From the November 14th edition of JAMA, an article penned by Dr. Josef Fischer titled The Impending Disappearance of the General Surgeon via A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure:

The population of general surgeons is decreasing. Fewer residents are choosing general surgery and existing general surgeons are aging, and as a result 32% of general surgeons are older than 55 years and 20% are younger than 35 years. Emergency department visits have increased 26% since 1993, and 75% of hospitals report inadequate on-call surgeon coverage. For the first time ever, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found that their beneficiaries have more trouble accessing specialists than do private-pay patients

While most attention of health policy experts has focused on the care of the chronically ill, changes have occurred in an important component of the workforce—general surgeons. Their numbers have been decreasing precipitously. Causes of this shortage include an unfavorable work environment, reimbursement issues, professional liability, and, probably most important, the change in the nature of the workforce of individuals who are entering medicine.

The Future of Surgery XII [A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure]

Correlate: Gender in Surgical Demographics

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