A Survey of the Work Effort of Full-time Surgeons of the Southeastern Surgical Congress

Gadacz, Thomas R.; Bason, James J.
August 2005
American Surgeon;Aug2005, Vol. 71 Issue 8, p674
Academic Journal
This is a survey research project to determine the work hours of practicing surgeons and compare those hours with hours that have been mandated for graduate medical education programs by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The survey conducted of the membership of the Southeastern Surgical Congress focused on the amount of time devoted to professional activity. Although several categories of membership were surveyed, those surgeons in full-time practice were used for this report. Five hundred ninety-two general surgeons and some surgical specialties from 17 states reported a total professional work effort of 65 hours per week averaged over a month. Twenty per cent reported working more than 80 hours per week. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) factors that characterized these individuals included years in practice (1 to 10 years), more clinical hours per week, fewer administrative hours per week, fewer teaching hours per week, fewer continuing medical education (CME) hours per year, and an increase in recent clinical practice. Interestingly, there was no significant difference in CME over a 2- or 5-year period. Other factors such as type of practice did not have statistical significance. There was no difference between states and no difference in time commitment to political or community activities. This survey indicates that surgeons going into practice in the Southeast from general surgery graduate medical education programs can expect to have a mean work week of 65 hours, and 20 per cent can expect to exceed an 80-hour work week.


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