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Semin Vasc Surg. 2006 Dec;19(4):172-9.

Analysis of the current applicant pool to vascular surgery: who are they and where do they come from?

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  • 1Department of Surgery and Radiology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


There is a manpower crisis in vascular surgery. There may be too few vascular surgeons to meet the demands imposed by the aging of the "Baby-Boom" generation. More than 20% of vascular surgery positions were not filled through the match in 2004 and 2005. The number of vascular surgery training positions has doubled in the past 15 years, based on manpower studies projecting a need for additional vascular surgeons. During the same time period, the number of vascular surgery applicants has remained static. In addition, the proportion of international medical graduates has increased significantly. Furthermore, medical students appear to be selecting "lifestyle-friendly" specialties, such as emergency medicine, radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, and dermatology, with increasing frequency. Approximately 60% of undergraduates in the United States and almost 50% of graduating medical students are currently women. Yet only about 25% of general surgery residents and less than 20% of current vascular surgery trainees are women. Strategies to expand the applicant pool for vascular surgery are needed and discussed in this article.

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