The December 8, 1989, edition of JAMA includes a report on "The Future of General Surgery" by the Council on Long Range Planning and Development (CLRPD).1 Chaired by Palma E. Formica, MD, this committee outlines the current state of general surgery and the forces for change prevalent in the environment. The committee notes the challenges and positive indicators for the future of general surgery. This encouraging report on a widely debated subject will be an important reference document. The CLRPD communiqué is timely and outlines projections sharply different from those in articles appearing in recent years, such as "The Abominable Surgeon," "General Surgery: An Endangered Species," "Renaissance Surgery: No Longer," "The Rise and Fall of General Surgery," and "The American Board of Residual Surgery." Surgeons, residents, educators, and hospital administrators are encouraged to review this report.
Formica et al divided this study into three sections: the first section outlines