Would you rather have an older or younger trauma surgeon?

Turns out, it may not matter.

According to a recent study from the Archives of Surgery, when it comes to trauma surgery, the mortality rate of trauma causes handled by “novice” surgeons – those just out of residency – did not differ appreciably from those handled by more experienced doctors.

As reported by ABC News (under the somewhat melodramatic headline, “In the ER, Baby-Faced Doc Is No Death Sentence”), whether the hospital is organized, or not, plays a more important role.

Jay Doucet, a surgeon cited in the piece, compares the findings to fighter pilot performance, saying, “”Let’s say you have a highly trained fighter pilot, but you send him against a tough enemy, flying an obsolete aircraft in a disorganized air force … what outcomes can you expect? Organized trauma centers in an organized trauma system save lives.”

But, hopefully, you’ll never need a trauma surgeon at all.

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories