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March 28, 1977

Surgeons in the United States

JAMA. 1977;237(13):1313. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270400017010

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To the Editor.—  As a general surgeon in a community hospital, I would like to comment on the article "Surgeons in the United States: Activities, Output and Income," by Walter W. Hauck, Jr, PhD, et al (236:1864, 1976), wherein the authors conclude that the operative work loads of surgeons are, in general, too low.As background, it is interesting that of the six co-authors commenting on the practice of my specialty, only one is a physician, and he, Osler L. Peterson, MD, is apparently not a practicing surgeon. Also, as seems customary in such studies, it emanates from an institution, Harvard Medical School in this instance, where only one form of surgical practice is known—that of the so-called teaching institution with a surgical residency training program and a university affiliation.The thing that troubles me about this article and others of a similar nature is that no effort is made