The goals of this focused meeting were to verify and clarify the causes and extent of the general surgery (GS) workforce shortfalls. We also sought to define workable solutions within the existing framework of medical accreditation and certification.
Numerous peer-reviewed and lay reports describe a current and worsening availability of GS services, affecting rural areas as well as large cities, academia, and the military.
Primary recommendations were broadly agreed upon by attendee surgeons who were selected from numerous different professional scenarios and included 2 nonmedical observers.
Recommendations: (1) enhance the number of GS trainees and the breadth of training, (2) incorporate more flexibility and breadth in residency, (3) minimally invasive surgery should largely return to GS, (4) broader use of community hospitals in these efforts, (5) publicize loan forgiveness and improved visa status for international medical graduates going into GS, and (6) select candidates with a bias toward a general surgical career.
These methods are promising approaches to this serious deficiency but will require regular reporting and publicity for the recording of actual increases in GS output.
The goals of this focused meeting were to verify and clarify the causes and extent of general surgery workforce shortfalls in contemporary medicine. We also sought to define workable solutions within the existing framework of medical accreditation and certification.
*Departments of Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
†University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
‡Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
§Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
‖Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
¶Albany Medical College of Union University, Albany, NY
#University of TexasMedical Branch, Galveston, TX.
Reprints: Hiram C. Polk, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292. E-mail: email@example.com.
Edited recommendations and pertinent comments of a meeting to study the declining numbers of general surgeons, Chicago, IL, October 12–13, 2010. Travel and hotel expenses paid by the American Surgical Association, Beverly, MA.
Comments and concepts in this paper are a matter of personal opinion and thought and do not necessarily reflect or concur with the policies of organizations for which the authors serve as an officer or employee.