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September 1973

Reappraisal of Surgical Training Program Goals

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Arch Surg. 1973;107(3):366. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350210004003

Postgraduate medical training in the United States has evolved from a broad program of education to a highly specialized type of training. Approximately 80% to 85% of the more than 12,000 annual American medical school graduates currently take additional training to become medical specialists. This trend toward specialization has occurred largely as a result of the rapid progress and proliferation of medical knowledge and technology, and because physicians desire to keep up with the times.

Postgraduate surgical training in most university-based training programs in the United States is given by surgical specialists; consequently, the residents trained usually become surgical specialists in community hospitals.1 A recent panel discussion by committee directors of the Survey of Surgical Services in the United States (SOSSUS) indicates that many large communities are already adequately staffed with surgical specialists in many fields and that few communities with populations of greater than 200,000 require significant numbers

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