Original Article

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1104-1111

First online:

The Evolving Surgeon Shortage in the Health Reform Era

  • George F. SheldonAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery and Social Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillAmerican College of Surgeons Health Policy Research Institute, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 

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The evolving surgeon shortage is occurring at a time of societal change. For one of the first times in history, a scientific revolution is occurring while the organization of health care is also changing. With a demand for a more quality health care and a population that has both aged significantly and grown by ten million citizens each decade, the shortage of health care providers is problematic. For surgery, the shortage is particularly challenging. In 1981, 1047 surgeons were certified by the American Board of Surgery; in 2008, that number had dropped to just 909.


Surgeon shortage Health care Change