For Your Surgeon, Do You Want Younger Hands or More Experience? Interview with:
“Untitled” by Marcin Wichary is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Yusuke Tsugawa, MD, MPH, PhD
Assistant professor
Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCL
Los Angeles, CA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We studied whether patients’ mortality rate differ based on age and sex of surgeons who performed surgical procedures. Using a nationally representative data of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65-99 years who underwent one of 20 major non-elective surgeries, we found that patients treated by older surgeons have lower mortality than those cared for by younger surgeons, whereas there was no difference in patient mortality between male and female surgeons. When we studied age and sex together, we found that female surgeons at their 50s had the lowest patient mortality across all groups. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Our findings that younger surgeons have higher mortality suggest that more oversight and supervision early in surgeons’ post-residency career may be useful. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should focus on the mechanism why younger surgeons have higher mortality and what interventions (in addition to more supervisions) may help to reduce the variation in patient outcomes.

No disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Tsugawa Yusuke, Jena Anupam B, Orav E John, Blumenthal Daniel M, Tsai Thomas C, MehtsunWinta T et al. Age and sex of surgeons and mortality of older surgical patients: observational study BMJ 2018; 361 :k1343

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on May 3, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD