We believe that trauma surgeons, or acute care surgeons, exemplify these values. We have provided these services to surgical patients for the past 25 years. Trauma surgeons have been leaders in quality improvement, as demonstrated by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma verification program.
We take care of whoever comes through the door, regardless of acuity, time of day (or night), or payer status. We have always provided comprehensive care for our patients—from involvement in prehospital care and planning, through the emergency department, operating room, ICU, and even post-discharge rehabilitation. This requires an effective healthcare team and a truly multidisciplinary approach with other physicians (orthopedics, neurosurgery, anesthesia), nurses, and others, including respiratory, occupational, and physical therapy.
We see a synergy between hospitalist and acute-care surgeons. Both groups have stepped forward to fill a void in patient care. The redefining of trauma surgery as acute care surgery and the development of dedicated training programs will no doubt benefit current and future surgeons, but our patients will benefit the most. TH
Dr. Spain is professor of surgery and chief of Trauma, Emergency and Critical Care Surgery, Stanford University (California). He is also chairman of the Critical Care Committee, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Dr. Jurkovich is professor of surgery at the University of Washington, chief of Trauma and Emergency Surgical Services at Harborview Medical Center, and chairman of the Acute Care Surgeon Committee, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma.
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- Austin MT, Diaz JJ Jr, Feurer ID, et al. Creating an emergency general surgery service enhances the productivity of trauma surgeons, general surgeons and the hospital. J Trauma. 2005 May;58(5):906-910.
- Wellikson L. Hospitals recognize and reward value. The Hospitalist. 2005;9:3-5.