Dr. Bard Parker posts an excellent introduction to the idea of "emergency surgeons" today. Basically, this idea comes in response to a few simple realities:
- Trauma care is poorly reimbursed and time consuming
- Trauma care is a field in which general surgeons provide evaluation and care for patients who need primarily orthopedic and neurosurgical care
- As a result, trauma surgeons don't operate very much
- Sooooo, why not have the trauma surgeons also provide emergent surgical care for the hospital?
The emergency surgeon idea is certainly the flavor of the day, but I don't think it will stand up to the realities of practice outside training programs and a few urban centers. In the world outside of academia, I still believe the best trauma surgeons are those who operate with great frequency and are comfortable caring for the sickest patients in the hospital.