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The messages of Ira Rutkow's Socioeconomics of Surgery are these: (1) that surgical care is the easiest specialty to regulate because operations are well-defined events and costs with fairly obvious consequences; (2) that data for regulation of surgical care are being gathered by a host of nonsurgical scientists, some of whom are not physicians; (3) that it is unfortunate that more surgeons are not involved in or even conversant with studies designed to gather such data; and (4) that they had better get involved in order to prevent unreasonable regulation of surgeons and unfair consequences for patients. He's right!
The book, which is intended to be a compendium of information relative to surgical socioeconomic matters, has five sections: (1) surgical demographics, (2) delivery and financing of surgical services, (3) quality of surgical care, (4) legal and ethical issues in surgery, and (5) a summary, which gives Dr Rutkow's personal perspective
Glover JL. Socioeconomics of Surgery. JAMA. 1989;262(12):1700. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430120154041
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