Fewer seek plastic surgery career

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 12, 2004

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Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are adding their specialty to those anticipating a work-force shortage. According to a March article in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, medical students are opting for careers in other specialties because rising medical liability insurance costs are forcing many surgeons to limit their practice; falling Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements make it difficult to cover the increases in liability insurance; and they don't like the long hours the career demands.

Rod Rohrich, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons said with the elderly soon to make up more than 26% of the population, a decline in surgeons will make it harder to access care.

"Over the next two decades, there is going to be a meteoric rise in the number of baby boomers approaching retirement age, causing the need for medical care and quality-of-life care to skyrocket," Dr. Rohrich said.

"We're also seeing a sobering trend in the medical community -- fewer medical students are choosing to pursue surgery. If this trend continues we will experience a shortage of surgeons to serve the needs of the aging population as well as younger generations."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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