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Maintaining a surgery service for local hospitals under the situation of a decreasing number of surgeons in a region of Japan.

Watanabe J, Saito H, Otani S, Ikeguchi M - World J Surg (2014)

Bottom Line: The emergency operation rate was 17.3 %.Our strategy has produced a continuous surgical service at local hospitals in the face of diminishing numbers of surgeons.We recommend that such a strategy be adopted in other regions in which there are a decreasing number of surgeons and where it is not easy to move patients elsewhere for care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Tottori University Hospital, 36-1 Nishi-cho, Yonago, Tottori, 683-8504, Japan, watanabe.j@med.tottori-u.ac.jp.

ABSTRACT

Background: The number of surgeons is decreasing in Japan, leading to the problem of how to maintain a surgery service in local hospitals. We introduce our strategy for supporting ongoing surgical services in regional hospitals by dispatching surgeons temporarily to assist in operations.

Methods: We conducted a questionnaire-based survey at three local hospitals in Tottori and a neighboring prefecture to which surgeons from our department were temporarily dispatched over 5 years from January 2008 to March 2013.

Results: We supported 686 operations at three hospitals over 5 years. The average age of the patients was 72.4 years. Of the diseases treated, 45.1 % were malignant, and 54.9 % were benign. The emergency operation rate was 17.3 %.

Conclusions: Our strategy has produced a continuous surgical service at local hospitals in the face of diminishing numbers of surgeons. We recommend that such a strategy be adopted in other regions in which there are a decreasing number of surgeons and where it is not easy to move patients elsewhere for care.

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Changes in the number of staff at the 1st Department of Surgery, Tottori University. The decreasing surgeons in Japan influence the number of our staff members. There were more than 35 office members in 2000. By 2012, this number had decreased to fewer than 20
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Fig3: Changes in the number of staff at the 1st Department of Surgery, Tottori University. The decreasing surgeons in Japan influence the number of our staff members. There were more than 35 office members in 2000. By 2012, this number had decreased to fewer than 20

Mentions: In 2008, the total number of doctors in Japan was 1.19-fold that of 1994. In contrast, the number of surgeons decreased by 0.87-fold during the same period [2]. This shows that the number of young doctors who wish to become surgeons is decreasing. Our office staff in 2000 numbered more than 35 people but has been declining yearly, with fewer than 20 in 2012 (Fig. 3). The average age of surgeons in local hospitals is rising, and more are facing retirement age. In recent years, fewer young surgeons have signed up, and the total number of surgeons in our department continues to decrease. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult to dispatch surgeons to local hospitals. Typically, there is limited time in which to prepare for an operation at a local hospital, so it is advantageous for both patients and surgeons to make fullest use of existing resources within that hospital. We consider it of great importance to maintain a hospital’s current resources because once a surgical unit is closed it is very difficult to resume activity.Fig. 3


Maintaining a surgery service for local hospitals under the situation of a decreasing number of surgeons in a region of Japan.

Watanabe J, Saito H, Otani S, Ikeguchi M - World J Surg (2014)

Changes in the number of staff at the 1st Department of Surgery, Tottori University. The decreasing surgeons in Japan influence the number of our staff members. There were more than 35 office members in 2000. By 2012, this number had decreased to fewer than 20
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4232756&req=5

Fig3: Changes in the number of staff at the 1st Department of Surgery, Tottori University. The decreasing surgeons in Japan influence the number of our staff members. There were more than 35 office members in 2000. By 2012, this number had decreased to fewer than 20
Mentions: In 2008, the total number of doctors in Japan was 1.19-fold that of 1994. In contrast, the number of surgeons decreased by 0.87-fold during the same period [2]. This shows that the number of young doctors who wish to become surgeons is decreasing. Our office staff in 2000 numbered more than 35 people but has been declining yearly, with fewer than 20 in 2012 (Fig. 3). The average age of surgeons in local hospitals is rising, and more are facing retirement age. In recent years, fewer young surgeons have signed up, and the total number of surgeons in our department continues to decrease. Therefore, it is becoming more difficult to dispatch surgeons to local hospitals. Typically, there is limited time in which to prepare for an operation at a local hospital, so it is advantageous for both patients and surgeons to make fullest use of existing resources within that hospital. We consider it of great importance to maintain a hospital’s current resources because once a surgical unit is closed it is very difficult to resume activity.Fig. 3

Bottom Line: The emergency operation rate was 17.3 %.Our strategy has produced a continuous surgical service at local hospitals in the face of diminishing numbers of surgeons.We recommend that such a strategy be adopted in other regions in which there are a decreasing number of surgeons and where it is not easy to move patients elsewhere for care.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Tottori University Hospital, 36-1 Nishi-cho, Yonago, Tottori, 683-8504, Japan, watanabe.j@med.tottori-u.ac.jp.

ABSTRACT

Background: The number of surgeons is decreasing in Japan, leading to the problem of how to maintain a surgery service in local hospitals. We introduce our strategy for supporting ongoing surgical services in regional hospitals by dispatching surgeons temporarily to assist in operations.

Methods: We conducted a questionnaire-based survey at three local hospitals in Tottori and a neighboring prefecture to which surgeons from our department were temporarily dispatched over 5 years from January 2008 to March 2013.

Results: We supported 686 operations at three hospitals over 5 years. The average age of the patients was 72.4 years. Of the diseases treated, 45.1 % were malignant, and 54.9 % were benign. The emergency operation rate was 17.3 %.

Conclusions: Our strategy has produced a continuous surgical service at local hospitals in the face of diminishing numbers of surgeons. We recommend that such a strategy be adopted in other regions in which there are a decreasing number of surgeons and where it is not easy to move patients elsewhere for care.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus