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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2009 Feb 4;17:4. doi: 10.1186/1757-7241-17-4.

Trauma and the acute care surgery model--should it embrace or replace general surgery?

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Department of Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway.


The specialties dealing with emergency medicine and emergency surgery are in need for a new roadmap. While the medical and surgical management of emergency conditions very often go hand-in-hand, issues relating to emergency and trauma surgery have particular concerns, which are global in magnitude. Obviously, choosing a career dealing (solely) with emergencies and trauma is associated with concerns related to lifestyle issues and, for surgeons, maintenance of adequate operative experience with the increased non-operative management. Also, dealing with patients' whose outcome may be dismal with high associated morbidity and mortality is often not viewed as rewarding. The global flux of medical students away from general surgical training and trauma surgery in particular is an example of how recruitment to specialties dealing with uncomfortable, unpredictable, and "out-of-office-hours" work may be in dire straits. How surgeons around the world will deal with this challenge will likely be diverse and tailored according to the needs of any given region, be it North America, Europe, or Scandinavia. However, refurnishing the training in General Surgery in order to ensure proper care for acute surgical illness and trauma appears mandated in order to keep in line with the centennial words of Halstead that "every important hospital should have on its resident staff of surgeons at least one who is well and able to deal with any emergency that may arise".

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