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Invited Commentary

A. Brent Eastman, MD
Arch Surg. 1996;131(6):631. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430180057009.
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The essence of trauma center care is the commitment and immediate involvement of the surgeon. Yet, according to this study, 40% of trauma surgeons dislike the work enough to seriously consider quitting. It has been stated that trauma is a "young surgeon's game"; however, this survey remarkably found that the mean age of responding trauma surgeons was 47.6 years. The combination of night work and aging is a significant one to explore for solutions.

Several questions not answered by this survey would be enlightening:

  • Was there a difference in response between the Canadian and US surgeons? Answering this may address the differences in health care reimbursement schemes.

  • Was there a difference with significant managed care penetration of the health care market? Is managed care helping or accelerating the crisis?

  • Was there a difference with organized trauma care systems? Does better organization improve such things as call schedules, coverage, appropriate patient


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