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Florida's Trauma Surgeons: A Vanishing Breed

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The delivery of trauma and emergency surgical care is in a state of crisis. We hypothesized that this looming crisis was already manifested in Florida. The trauma medical directors of the 20 state designated trauma centers were surveyed for information pertaining to number of available surgeons for trauma call, number of night calls/month, age of the current trauma surgeons, and the estimated number of years each surgeon planned to continue taking call. We also queried trauma medical directors about recruitment of additional trauma surgeons. Fourteen directors responded. Each program had at least four surgeons taking trauma call on average 5.3 nights/month. Sixty-three per cent of surgeons taking call were less than 50-years-old. Thirty surgeons (39.5%) planned to discontinue trauma call within 10 years, leaving 46 surgeons (60.5%) presently committed to longer than 10 years of call. Nine programs were actively recruiting. Five programs (50%) were recruiting for < 1 year, three programs (30%) were recruiting for 1 to 2 years, and two programs (20%) were recruiting > 2 years. Florida's trauma surgeons are a vanishing breed. Given the recruiting difficulties, the diminishing numbers of Florida's general surgeons will have to fill the gaps.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Florida Health Science Center-Jacksonville, Department of Surgery, Division of Acute Care Surgery, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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