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Correspondence and Brief Communications
November 01, 2005

Are Young Surgeons Incompetent?—Reply

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2005 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2005

Arch Surg. 2005;140(11):1130. doi:10.1001/archsurg.140.11.1130-b

In reply

I appreciate Dr Herman’s interest in the article, but I think he is overreacting. It is hard for me to see how a single article that is a retrospective review of an administrative database and does not compare outcomes for specific operations could be used in a meaningful way against an individual surgeon by a hospital credentialing committee or a plaintiff’s attorney. I certainly disagree that this article could be used as “grounds” to dismiss a young surgeon. It is not specific enough for a plaintiff’s attorney and I simply cannot foresee that senior surgeons would “market” themselves to primary care physicians by using an article to denigrate younger colleagues. I have simply never heard of a surgeon using the literature in that manner and I think they would be laughed at if they tried.

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