Florida's Trauma Surgeons: A Vanishing Breed
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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