The scope of general surgery practice has evolved tremendously in the last 20 years. However, clinical experience in general surgery residency training has undergone relatively little change.
To evaluate the current scope of academic general surgery and its implications on surgical residency.
Design, Setting, and Participants
The University HealthSystem Consortium and Association of American Medical Colleges established the Faculty Practice Solution Center (FPSC) to characterize physician productivity. The FPSC is a benchmarking tool for academic medical centers created from revenue data collected from more than 90 000 physicians who practice at 95 institutions across the United States.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The FPSC database was queried to evaluate the annual mean procedure frequency per surgeon (PFS) in each calendar year from 2006 through 2011. The associated work relative value units (wRVUs) were also examined to measure physician effort and skill.
During the 6-year period, 146 distinct Current Procedural Terminology codes were among the top 100 procedures, and 16 of these procedures ranked in the top 10 procedures in at least 1 year. The top 10 procedures accounted for more than half (range, 52.5%-57.2%) of the total 100 PFS evaluated for each year. Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass was consistently among the top 10 procedures in each year (PFS, 18.2-24.6). The other most frequently performed procedures included laparoscopic cholecystectomy (PFS, 30.3-43.5), upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy (PFS, 26.5-34.3), mastectomy (PFS, 16.5-35.0), inguinal hernia repair (PFS, 15.5-22.1), and abdominal wall hernia repair (PFS, 21.6-26.1). In all years, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass generated the highest number of wRVUs (wRVUs, 491.0-618.2), and laparoscopic cholecystectomy was regularly the next highest (wRVUs, 335.8-498.7).
Conclusions and Relevance
A significant proportion of academic general surgery is composed of bariatric surgery, yet surgical training does not sufficiently emphasize the necessary exposure to technical expertise and clinical management of the patient undergoing bariatric surgery. As the scope of general surgery practice continues to evolve, general surgery residency training will need to better integrate the exposure to bariatric surgery.