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World J Surg. 2000 Aug;24(8):976-82.

Future of thyroid surgery and training surgeons to meet the expectations of 2000 and beyond.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis-East Bay, 1411 E. 31st Street, Oakland, California 94602, USA.


What is the future of thyroid surgery in the new millennium? How can surgeons keep abreast of advances in thyroid endocrinology, genetics, surgical therapy, and other aspects of thyroid disease management? How should surgeons be trained to become highly competent in thyroid disease and to perform safe, effective thyroid operative procedures? Nine internationally recognized endocrine surgeons were asked to express their views on these and related subjects. They noted that advances in molecular biology, pathology, and genetics of thyroid disease should allow more tailored surgical approaches during the twenty-first century. Current training of general surgical residents in thyroid and other types of endocrine surgery is highly variable, which may contribute to increased complication rates and number of second operations. The leadership for addressing these deficiencies and promoting a more organized approach to thyroid disease management should come from national endocrine surgery associations and their leaders. It is incumbent upon endocrine surgeons to maintain their central role in the management of many aspects of thyroid disease. Organizing teams of specialists into thyroid centers (centers of excellence) can (1) increase efficiency; (2) increase quality of care; (3) decrease costs; (4) encourage a more individualized approach to surgery; (5) lower complication rates; and (6) foster innovation in technology and disease management. Two years of additional fellowship training in thyroid and endocrine surgery is now being advocated by increasing numbers of national endocrine surgical associations as the best way to prepare surgeons for society's needs for highly skilled, competent thyroid surgeons of the future.

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