Emerging Challenges for General Surgery
Ashim Dutta, Head of Marketing, AB Hospitals
General surgery procedures include a vast selection of common surgical procedures from gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)to removal of the Uterus (hysterectomy)that are frequently performed with minimally invasive methods compared to complicated open surgeries of the liver, pancreas, and oesophagus.
Demand For General Surgeries
In 2017, the number of generals surgeries performed worldwide totaled approximately 59 million. Forecast for these procedures is to grow in a 3.6% compound annual rate exceeding 70.5 million surgeries by 2022.Though general surgeries overall is a relatively mature segment, some procedures, specially those using minimally invasive methods, are exhibiting substantial growth due to their acceptability among wider section of patients.
Declining interest in General Surgeries
There are various reasons for the waning interest in general surgeries among medical students. Reasons for this decline are diverse and lots of factors have been identified through numerous studies and retrospective studies. Particularly, lifestyle problems, probability of litigation, absence of role models, insufficient undergraduate education exposure and gender issues are specifically prominent.
Multiple sub-specialization options
The knowledge explosion in medicine is a principal source of development of the specialization seen throughout the last two decades.
The fast and the deep successes in medical technology have increased the sophistication of surgical, interventional and intensive care thereby fueled further specialization and sub specialization. There are various reasons for surgeons to specialize. To be completely competent in the face of knowledge base that’s growing in all areas, many surgeons choose to restrict the number and kinds of surgical procedures they perform. In addition, it might be simpler to develop expertise in certain subspecialties, and also more tasteful experience frequently leads to economic benefits.
As a phenomenon of progressive specialization carries on to evolve, the effect on hospitals and healthcare delivery will be substantial. In case the trend carries on, a larger workforce of surgeons will probably be needed to supply the plethora of services encompassed by the principal components of general surgery.
Demand for diverse skill sets required by general surgeons
Continued expansion in the availability of health resources in developing regions is driving increased utilization of general surgeries, leading to growth in procedures at a rate in excess of the international population growth of about 1% each year. General Surgery is a specialty that needs familiarity with and knowledge of a wide range of conditions that might require surgical treatment. The length and depth of the knowledge will change by disease category. In most areas, the surgeon will probably be expected to be effective in diagnosing and treating the entire spectrum of diseases. While wisdom and good technical abilities are crucial, they alone don’t ensure success as a general surgeon.
Confidence, endurance, perseverance, and patience are imperative. Fantastic leadership, motivational, and decision-making skills are also essential requirements. Lastly, the importance of commitment to patient care can’t be overstated.
Even though general surgery remains probably the most admired residencies for medical students today, it’s facing horrible pressure, including less attraction to surgery as a profession, a growing interest in surgical sub specialty, and higher attrition rates.
For general surgeries to survive there’s need to introduce changes to make new priorities in clinical practice, education and research, and to increase the morale and prestige of general surgeons ❏