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Is there a doctor in the house?

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As early as next year, there may not be enough surgeons in U.S. hospitals to treat the critically injured or chronically ill, as a study by Ohio State University Ohio State University, main campus at Columbus; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1870, opened 1873 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, renamed 1878. There are also campuses at Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark. , Columbus, suggests that the number of available general surgeons, who often perform life-saving operations on patients in emergency rooms, will not keep up with public demand. As the population continues to grow, there will be a shortage of 1,300 general surgeons in 2010. That shortage will worsen each decade, reaching a deficit of 6,000 by 2050.

That means people will have to wait longer for emergency treatment and for elective general surgery, points out Thomas E. Williams, clinical associate professor of surgery and a retired thoracic and cardiac surgeon A cardiac surgeon is a surgeon who performs cardiac surgery - operative procedures on the heart and great vessels. Training
In the United States and Canada, a cardiac surgery residency typically comprises anywhere from six to nine years (or longer) of training to become
. "People may wait hours in an emergency room if there is a shortage of surgeons, but the problem is that if you're not operated on within a few hours, your disease or injury progresses and that can create more serious difficulties in other areas of the body. These are situations that you would not have had with prompt surgical attention."

In emergency rooms, general surgeons are called upon to determine whether to operate on a patient, but an increasing number of medical professionals choose to specialize in other fields such as cardiac or orthopedic surgery Orthopedic Surgery Definition

Orthopedic (sometimes spelled orthopaedic) surgery is surgery performed by a medical specialist, such as an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon, trained to deal with problems that develop in the bones, joints, and ligaments
. So, the shortage directly will impact emergency rooms around the country, which rely on general surgeons.

There are about 21,500 general surgeons employed in the U.S. today. Each prances for an estimated 30 years and about 705 leave the profession each year due to personal reasons, retirement, or death. Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 surgeons enter the workforce annually. Of that number, 850 will practice general surgery. After accounting for retirees, that means the addition of just 145 new general surgeons, far less than is needed given the continuous rise in the population. However, some authorities have suggested that as many as 600 of these 1,000 surgeons are entering other specialties, creating an even larger shortage than the current study projects.

"Many doctors today want to specialize in areas such as vascular, colon, or thoracic surgery Thoracic Surgery Definition

Thoracic surgery is the repair of organs located in the thorax, or chest. The thoracic cavity lies between the neck and the diaphragm, and contains the heart and lungs (cardiopulmonary system), the esophagus, trachea, pleura,
. They'll train for one or two more years beyond general surgical residency so they have more professional expertise, and probably won't take the general surgery calls in emergency rooms," according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Williams.

Attracting students to the medical field is a growing problem, Williams notes. The overwhelming costs of obtaining a medical degree are a large deterrent for many young students, despite scholarships and financial aid. The cost of obtaining a medical degree leaves many students with $125,000 to $150,000 of debt after completing medical school. In addition, students required to train as residents often are underpaid for their work. The average resident earns between $40,000 and $45,000 per year for three to seven years before he or she is board-certified. Compare that to the average salary of a first-year associate at a New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 law firm, who will earn $150,000 to $200,000.
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Title Annotation:demand for more surgeons
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2009
Words:504
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