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March 2016

Call to Action for General Surgery–Trained SpecialistsMaintain Both Breadth and Depth

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(3):209-210. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4653

In 2025, the United States will have work for about 27 000 more surgeons than will be available. This is the striking conclusion of a report from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) projecting the supply and demand for the US physician workforce.1 In fact, the shortage could be as many as 35 000 surgeons, if increased demand due to changing demographics, managed care scenarios, and expanded access to care due to the Affordable Care Act are accompanied by earlier surgeon retirements and millennial surgeon workload expectations. This need is especially acute because there are no nonphysician health care professionals who effectively substitute for surgeons in the workforce, in contrast to some other areas of medical practice.

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