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American College of Surgeons Comments on JAMA Article on Surgeon Shortage

Chair of the Board of Regents of ACS publishes commentary in JAMA

CHICAGO, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The American College of Surgeons added its voice to a commentary on the surgeon shortage published in the November 14 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The article, "The Impending Disappearance of the General Surgeon," is authored by Josef E. Fischer, MD, FACS, chair of the College's Board of Regents and addresses several facets of the current general surgeon workforce shortage, including reasons behind it, its implications, and the efforts being made to engage more surgical residents in general surgery to staff small suburban and rural hospitals.

"Dr. Fischer explains why there is a shortage of general surgeons -- and why it is going to get worse before it can get better," said Gerald Healy, MD, FACS, president of the American College of Surgeons." The dangerous and unfortunate truth is there is a surgeon shortage today and it will take seven to 15 years to fix so we better get moving."

The JAMA article states that over the past 30 years, the number of general surgeons has decreased sharply in the United States. In fact, these trends in the surgical landscape suggest a danger that general surgeons might disappear over the next few year, especially in suburban and rural hospitals. The implications that the impending shortage of general surgeons would have on hospitals and the patient population are significant -- it will lead to difficulty in obtaining adequate emergency care and ultimately, could force hospitals to close.

To speak with Dr. Fischer or Dr. Healy on this issue, please contact Sally Garneski at 312-202-5409 or Barb Hemberger at 952-346-6232.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 72,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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