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April 2017

Expanding the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program to General Surgery: A Proposal to Address the National Shortage of General Surgeons in the United States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
  • 2Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 3Section of Surgical Sciences, Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(4):315-316. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4996

The surgical workforce is predicted to be in crisis. The Association of American Medical Colleges forecasts a deficit of 41 000 general surgeons by 2025, which is 33% of the predicted total physician shortage.1 Much has been written describing the crisis, particularly in rural and underserved urban populations, but few workable solutions have been proposed. The situation is further complicated by the long process to produce a surgeon: medical school followed by 5 to 7 years of residency training and even more as most graduates opt for fellowships beyond.2

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