//
you're reading...
Future of Thoracic Surgery

Surgeon shortage to hit rural areas the hardest

Unsurprisingly – rural area hospitals face additional challenges in attracting and retaining specialty surgeons in comparison to big cities/ metropolitan areas.  However, as reported by Patrice Welding at Thoracic Surgery News in a report on the annual meeting of the Central Surgical Association, this may be viewed as a boon for the surgeons themselves as hospitals may devise new and enhanced incentives to attract surgeons to their facilities.  The surgical specialties most likely to benefit from this strategy include (as previously reported), obstetrics and gynecology, or­thopedic surgery, general surgery, otolaryngology, urology, neurosurgery, and thoracic surgery.

The article which quotes Dr. Thomas E. Williams, Jr. predicts that hospitals and institutions may break out into a ‘bidding war’ over surgeons.

While this is dire news for rural hospitals  and the estimated 56 million patients served by these facilities, it comes as a relief for current thoracic surgery fellows and new thoracic surgeons who have faced an increasingly bleak economic landscape over the last few years.

Of course, more sanguine experts note that the impact of the impending shortage has been reported for several years – with little impact on the current job market for new graduates.

The United States isn’t the only nation to be suffering from a shortage of surgeons, particularly in thoracic surgery.  So, maybe this is one of the questions we should be asking.

Dr. Thomas E. Williams Jr. is one of the main researchers on the impending shortage in the United States and published a book based on his findings in 2009, entitled, “The coming shortage of surgeons: why they are disappearing and what that means for our health“. (Praeger, ISBN #978-0313380709).  His work has also be published in multiple journals, and presented in meetings and conferences across the country.

Williams, T. E & Ellison, E. C. (2008). Population analysis predicts a future critical shortage of general surgeons.   Surgery, 144 (4): 548-556, October 2008.

Advertisements

About K Eckland

World of Thoracic Surgery is a blog about the work, research, and practices of thoracic surgeons around the world. It includes case studies, [sometimes] dry research, interviews with thoracic surgeons along with patient perspectives, and feedback.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: