June 1972

Reassessment of Surgical Specialty Training in the United States

Arch Surg. 1972;104(6):759-760. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180060009001

The number of surgical residency training programs in the United States has increased gradually but steadily during the past several years, as has the number of surgeons annually receiving accreditation by general surgery and surgical specialty boards. The rate of new specialists is, however, accelerating faster than is the population growth of the country. In 1950 when the population of the United States was 150 million, 493 surgeons were certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABS), thus providing one new surgeon for every 316,000 population. In 1970, a total of 777 surgeons passed part 2 of the ABS examinations, at which time the country's population was 203 million (one new surgeon for every 260,000 population). During this 20-year period, several new surgical specialties were developed, accounting for many additional surgeons with specialty board accreditation from other than the ABS. Concomitantly, the role of the general surgeon has become more

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