Check out these opportunities through Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST):
July 27, 2015
by Tyler Hughes, MD, FACS
Chair of the ACS Advisory Council for Rural Surgery
"The recognized crises in rural surgery are of interest to all surgeons....
Commentary: ACS Advisory Council tackles rural surgery crisis
May 20, 2014
Join an amazing group of rural surgeons during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress week for the annual Rural Surgery Dinner! Everyone i...
Register for the Rural Surgery Dinner!!
August 12, 2015
SYRUS Rural Surgery Symposium Notes!
May 24, 2014
High quality synopsis from our Executive Secretary Kyle Rattray--Thank you Kyle!!!
The ACS/Mithoefer Center co-hosted symposium on rural surgery was held in Chicago at the American College of Surgeon’s headquarters on May 9-10, 2014. There were approximately 40 surgeons in attendance from all parts of the United States and community populations ranging from 900-30,000.
Highlights include the following:
“Does the Five Need Fixing”
David Borgstrom, MD, FACS from the Mithoefer Center reported on the changing nature of surgery residency. The five year training has gotten residents enough cases however the level of autonomy and continuity has resulted in residents feeling less prepared and comfortable doing procedures that a rural surgeon would be expected to do. In particular, the number of teaching cases residents are doing has gone down – attending surgeons are staying in the OR more and as a result young surgeons aren’t struggling and figuring out solutions on their own. Some programs are suggesting a ‘surgery bootcamp’ prior to starting residency and a ‘transition from residency’ prior to finishing training.
“Rural Heath Care Systems”
This was a panel of physicians from three variations on practice
Small (population 900) community surgical practice in Hopedale, Illinois where the surgeons also acts as PCP (managing blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol as well as hernia repair, appendectomy and surgical oncology)
Medium (population 15,000) community hospital in LaCrosse, Wisconsin with affiliated regional practices in a three state region where most surgeons in the outlaying areas practice alone or with assistance from surgeons traveling to their site but not living in that community
Larger regional hospital system with over a dozen clinics and hospitals affiliated with one large level 1 trauma hospital located in central Pennsylvania
Each practice had respective pros and cons including some sentiment that the medium to large sized regional hospital system often result in surgeons feeling isolated from ‘the mother ship’
“Affordable Care Act and Rural America”
This outlined the usual details of the ACA and how those changes affect rural and aging surgeons including frustration with EMR and the changing landscape from state to state with many states opting not to expand Medicaid
According to the presenter, major language in the ACA which initially was intended to help rural surgeons now appears to have so many unachievable requirements or stands to be repealed that an increase in reimbursement and benefits for loan repayment will not likely materialize
“The Economic Impact of a Rural Surgeon”
The National Center for Rural Healthworks and National Center for the Analysis of Heathcare Data presented a very informative talk on the difference a surgeon makes to a small community (this data is available on the internet from their websites)
1 surgeon clinic creates 4 jobs, $530k in wages/benefits, $900k in revenue
Hospitals generate approximately 30% of their revenue from a surgeon, creating 15 jobs and $1.8M in revenue
Secondary impacts (money into the local community and support staff) result in 26 jobs and $3.6M in revenue from one rural surgeon
These numbers are scalable and multiply by each surgeon added to a local community
The average surgeon does 809 procedures a year, when accounting for how many people undergo an operation annually this results in an ideal ratio of 12,389 people per general surgeon (in the US this ratio is actually 14,000 people per general surgeon)
“Rural Cancer Care”
The presenter reported that with only 8% of communities having a surgical oncologist, about half of cancer related surgery is conducted by general surgeons, and a higher proportion of those cases when the patient is in a rural setting
When rural patients are asked if the risk of complications or death were equal, would they rather have surgery in their hometown or at a large urban hospital with surgical oncology 100% reported they would stay in their hometown; double the risk and 45% still would stay rural; triple the risk and 25% would still stay in their hometown