How the general surgeon shortage affects patients

General surgeons are the primary care doctors of proceduralists.

As the current generation of physicians are placing a priority on controlled hours and emphasis on lifestyle, general surgery is taking a hit.

Medical students are gravitating towards specialties like dermatology or radiology, with comparable incomes but less grueling hours, and young surgeons are specializing “in fields such as transplant surgery or plastic surgery, in which they can make more money and don’t have to face (usually alone) the wide range of problems a generalist faces.”

Regular readers of this blog know that the trend away from generalists isn’t new, and now without surgery backup, “family practitioners can’t deliver babies, emergency rooms can’t take trauma cases, and most internists won’t do complicated procedures such as colonoscopies.”

More examples how the shift away from generalist physicians will impact patients in a very negative way.

Comments are moderated before they are published. Please read the comment policy.

  • Bongi

    this is also a problem in south africa.

  • Anonymous

    Now Colonoscopies are complicated. Just so we are consistent next week we will have an article complaining about how much a proceduralist is paid for a 15 minute colonoscopy vs how unfair the payment is for a family physician to see a “compicated” patient for 15 min.

  • Anonymous

    Until family physicians and ER docs can take care of their own complications they shouldn’t complain about how much specialists make.

  • Slightly Disgruntled Hospitalist

    Yes, and until the specialists can take care of diabetes, hypertension, COPD, coronary artery disease AND all the discharge paperwork for their patients, they should appreciate the FPs, hospitalists and internists a little more. Otherwise, do it yourself and stop calling me to take care of all your post-op patients.

  • Anonymous

    Diabetes- Check
    Hypertension- Check
    COPD- Pulmonology
    CAD- Cardiology
    Discharge Paperwork- PA

    Why do I consult the hospitalist service? That’s right because the hospital pays for it as a service thats why.

Most Popular