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December 1982

Vascular Surgical Manpower: Too Much? Enough? Too Little? Unknown?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore (Dr Ernst), and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark (Dr Rutkow).

Arch Surg. 1982;117(12):1537-1542. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380360013004

• To determine vascular surgical rates and respective manpower requirements in the United States, data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the national and regional vascular societies were reviewed. Vascular operative rates increased 117% during the study period, 1970 through 1978. How long these increases will continue is unknown.

In 1982, approximately 1,900 surgeons hold membership in the 18 regional and national vascular societies. How many of these surgeons actively practice vascular surgery is not known. How many nonvascular society surgeons perform arterial reconstructive procedures is also unknown. Currently, approximately 57 fellows are graduated yearly from 42 training programs in vascular surgery. How these figures will change or how they should change in the future has not been defined.

Uncertainties of existing vascular manpower data make it Impossible to predict future needs, and past forecast attempts must be regarded with skepticism. Clearly, an accurate data base is necessary for rational planning. Therefore, it is suggested that established vascular organizations assume responsibility to obtain such information so that future manpower requirements may be identified.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:1537-1542)

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