Is trauma surgery a viable specialty?

As a primary care physician with a pure office practice, I’m not up to date with many of the issues that surgeons face. That’s why I like to read Jeffrey Parks’ observations on the surgical profession.

A recent post talks about how trauma surgeons want to increase their caseload, by transferring acute surgical cases out of community hospitals and into regional medical centers. The rationale being that smaller hospitals can save on infrastructure costs.

Calling it “politics cloaked in science,” Dr. Parks sees a deeper issue, namely that trauma surgeons are cherry-picking procedures: “They want to be able to scavenge all the midnight appendectomies and free air cases because, well, otherwise they wouldn’t ever operate.”

This brings up the larger question of whether trauma surgery is viable as an independent field, given the dearth of surgical cases.

Stealing cases from general surgeons at community hospitals clearly isn’t the right answer.

topics: trauma, surgery