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To the Editor.—I read with interest the editorial "What Is General Surgery? Who Is a General Surgeon?" by Gardner W. Smith, MD, in the July Archives (1981;116:853). As a general surgeon who restricts his practice to peripheral vascular surgery, I wish to emphasize that the specialty of general surgery is expanding rather than contracting, and that we must recognize the importance of this specialty in academic centers as well as in the community. Special-interest segments of general surgery, such as peripheral vascular surgery, head and neck surgical oncology, surgical intensive care, pediatric surgery, colorectal surgery, and traumatology, are developing as knowledge and surgical skills in these areas expand. Because of this, it has been necessary for general surgeons to restrict their endeavors to special areas to promote appropriate development in research and improvement in patient care. I believe that it is feasible and desirable for this dedication to special
DOWNS AR. General Surgery. Arch Surg. 1982;117(7):983. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380310089027