Meeting Increasing Demands for Rural General Surgeons
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Dynamic assessment of the effective surgical workforce recommends 27,300 general surgeons in 2030; 2,525 more than are presently being trained. Rural shortages are already critical and there has been insufficient preparation for this need. A literature review of the factors influencing the choice of rural practice was performed. A systematic search was conducted of PubMed and the Web of Science to identify applicable studies in rural practice, surgical training, and rural general surgery. These articles were reviewed to identify the pertinent reports. The articles chosen for review are directed to four main objectives: 1) description of the challenges of rural practice, 2) factors associated with the choice of rural practice, 3) interventions to increase interest and preparation for rural practice, and 4) present successful rural surgical practice models. There is limited research on the factors influencing surgeons in the selection of rural surgery. The family practice literature suggests that physicians are primed for rural living through early experience, with reinforcement during medical school and residency, and retained through community involvement, and personal and professional satisfaction. However, more research into the factors drawing surgeons specifically to rural surgery, and keeping them in the community, is needed.
McCarthy, M. C.,
Bowers, H. E.,
Campbell, D. M.,
& Woods, R. J.
(2015). Meeting Increasing Demands for Rural General Surgeons. American Surgeon, 81 (12), 1195-1200.