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Ohio State Experts Predict Shortage Of Surgeons 

Gina Bericchia




COLUMBUS, Ohio - A combination of multiple factors is contributing to a shortage of surgeons in the United States, according to a book by researchers and physicians in the department of surgery at The Ohio State University Medical Center.


Drs. Thomas Williams (43221), Bhagwan Satiani (43004) and E. Christopher Ellison (43065) outline their future prediction for the surgeon shortage in their book “The Coming Shortage of Surgeons: Why They Are Disappearing and What That Means for Our Health,” which was recently published by Praeger Publishing.

The main reason for the shortage of surgeons is an increase in population in people over the age of 65. The growing elderly population requires the majority of surgeries, yet there are not enough physicians, especially surgeons, completing training to keep up with the demand. According to the authors, by the year 2030, there will be a shortage of approximately 30,000 surgeons in seven specialties including: obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, urology, general surgery, otolaryngology, cardiothoracic surgery and neurosurgery.

“The book explains the implications of a shortage of surgeons. People will have a longer wait for elective surgery or emergency treatments,” explains Ellison, who is chair of the department of surgery at Ohio State’s Medical Center. “If a patient has to wait longer for a surgery, their situation might deteriorate making them inoperable or their condition harder to treat. It is a threat to the health care we know today.”

Satiani is a vascular surgeon and professor of clinical surgery at the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital at Ohio State’s Medical Center and Williams is clinical associate professor of surgery at Ohio State University.

A quantified outline of the shortage and its affects on the future health care in the U.S. is also detailed in the book.


Gina Bericchia
Medical Center Communications


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