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Invited Critique
June 2012

Surgical Outcomes Beyond the Individual: Comment on “The Association of Community Health Indicators With Outcomes for Kidney Transplant Recipients in the United States”

Arch Surg. 2012;147(6):526-527. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2012.1

Quantifying surgical performance has always been an inescapable aspect of our profession. Traditionally, this has focused on the individual. A benefit of emphasizing individual performance is the concept that each surgeon assumes a lifelong commitment to improvement and learning.

The focus on outcomes as dependent on the individual extends to the surgical patient as well. A multitude of surgical patient risk-stratification schemes exist, some well known and validated, others resigned to trivia. The field of transplantation has been at the forefront of evaluating and implementing measures of outcomes.