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June 1996

Invited Commentary

Author Affiliations

La Jolla, Calif

Arch Surg. 1996;131(6):631. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430180057009

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The essence of trauma center care is the commitment and immediate involvement of the surgeon. Yet, according to this study, 40% of trauma surgeons dislike the work enough to seriously consider quitting. It has been stated that trauma is a "young surgeon's game"; however, this survey remarkably found that the mean age of responding trauma surgeons was 47.6 years. The combination of night work and aging is a significant one to explore for solutions.

Several questions not answered by this survey would be enlightening:

  • Was there a difference in response between the Canadian and US surgeons? Answering this may address the differences in health care reimbursement schemes.

  • Was there a difference with significant managed care penetration of the health care market? Is managed care helping or accelerating the crisis?

  • Was there a difference with organized trauma care systems? Does better organization improve such things as call schedules, coverage, appropriate patient

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