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New Trend Data Shows Access to Surgical Care at Risk in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States
Date:3/24/2009

es, researchers developed a series of multivariate regression models that evaluated the odds that a surgeon would move during a 10-year period, from 1996 to 2006. The researchers examined the characteristics of the surgeons, as well as the characteristics of the departure and destination counties. The study excluded residents in training, surgeons not in active practice, and surgeons over the age of 70 in 2006.

Of the 94,630 physicians who were established surgeons in clinical practice between 1996 and 2006, 32.1 percent moved to another county during this time period. In contrast, other studies showed that 26.8 percent of all physicians moved over a 10-year period.

Moves by surgeons were not primarily to an adjacent county, and the average distance of a move was 593 miles. Interstate moves were largely from the Northeast and parts of the Midwest to the South and West. The counties to which surgeons moved have a slightly higher ratio of total physicians to population, are slightly less dense, are three times more likely to be more rural than the departure county and have lower income levels, a lower proportion of Hispanic residents, a lower unemployment rate, and lower poverty levels than their departure counties.

The analysis found that the likelihood of moving varied by surgical subspecialty. More than half of all surgical critical care practitioners moved, although this group was small in number. Of the larger subspecialty groups, thoracic and neurological surgeons were more likely to move (41.5 percent and 38.5 percent, respectively) than urologists and ophthalmologists (27.4 and 26.2 percent, respectively). Older surgeons moved farther: for each additional year of age, the distance increased by eight miles.

About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founde
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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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