Vascular Surgery’s Training in Crisis- Enrollment on the Decline

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An inadequate number of vascular surgeons are being trained in the United States to meet the current and future needs of patients with vascular disease. The number of recent U.S medical school graduates entering vascular surgery training after completing general surgery residencies has decreased dramatically.

An inadequate number of vascular surgeons are being trained in the United States to meet the current and future needs of patients with vascular disease. The number of recent US medical school graduates entering vascular surgery training after completing general surgery residencies has decreased dramatically.

In 2004, only 68 graduates applied for the 110 available American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved vascular surgery training positions. In addition, the number of vascular surgery procedures performed by general surgeons has dropped, placing the public at risk because general surgeons do not have sufficient training in vascular surgery.

By 2030, workforce estimates suggest that an additional 1,067 vascular surgeons will be needed to join the expected 3,000 plus vascular surgeons currently in practice. Experts are calling for an immediate and dramatic increase in training to meet this goal. The existing training paradigms provide two classes of practitioners: Vascular surgeons who offer skilled-care and good outcomes. The second is general surgeons who are not fully trained and have poor outcomes. Experts say the waste of funding for training those who do not go on to practice vascular surgery, and the cost of unnecessary and excessive time training those who will practice only vascular surgery, cannot be justified. Patient care has been compromised by the inadequacies of the current vascular surgery training paradigm.    

Vascular experts will discuss why an independent Board of vascular surgery is needed to review and revamp the training paradigms for vascular surgery at VEITHsymposium in New York, November 18-21.

Frank J. Veith, MD, the William J. Von Liebig Chair for Vascular Surgery (Montefiore Medical Center, (Bronx, NY), Dr. James Stanley, Director, Vascular Surgery, University of Michigan, (Ann Arbor, MI), Ramon Berguer, MD, Professor of Surgery, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) will serve as moderators.

About VEITHsymposium™: Now entering its fourth decade, VEITHsymposium™ has been the epicenter of physician education for the global vascular community. This international congress attracts over 2,500 thought leaders in the field. More than 250 international clinician/educators present the latest topics, advances and data and then validate these concepts through the dynamic interactive faculty/audience exchange that ends each session.

VEITHsymposium™ is sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY) with CME credit issued by Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY).

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Pauline Mayer
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