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Arch Surg. 1998 May;133(5):568-74.

General and gastrointestinal tract surgery in France.

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Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal, Poissy, France.


Forty-three state-run medical schools admit 30000 students per year but only 3500 receive their diploma after 6 years of studies. After passing a special examination, 480 of 2000 residents choose surgery and train during twelve 6-month rotations. Surgical research is organized through government agencies, individual units, or volunteer groups. In 1992, of 8268114 procedures, appendectomy represented 4.15%; hernia, 4.09%; varicose veins, 3.61%; and cholecystectomy, 1.82%. Appendectomy has decreased from 306500 per year in 1980 (34% of all gastrointestinal surgical procedures) to 159900 (15%) in 1996, whereas cholecystectomy has increased from 64700 to 95300. Emergency gastrointestinal procedures represented 15% of all surgical procedures in 1996, doubling in the last 4 years (essentially for labor and endoscopic procedures). Ambulatory procedures have increased 12-fold since 1980, essentially (75%) in private practice. About 27% of 160000 appendectomies and 77% of 95300 cholecystectomies were performed laparoscopically in 1997. One person of 4 in France has or has had cancer, mainly due to tobacco abuse. In 1993, 32000 surgical procedures were performed for gastrointestinal cancer. Of 532000 deaths (1992), about 150000 were due to cancer, 10000 to alcohol-related disease, and 22000 to trauma. Transplantation in France increased from 3180 procedures in 1993 to 2807 in 1996, essentially lungs and heart and lungs. Between 60% and 100% of health expenditures are reimbursed by the government, the remaining being covered by private insurances. Approximately 60% of 4500 French surgeons are in private practice; 25% also have part-time hospital employment. Almost 40% of surgeons work full-time in hospitals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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