Density of surgeons is significantly associated with reduced risk of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in US counties

David C. Chang, Brent Eastman, Mark A. Talamini, Hayley B. Osen, Hop S. Tran Cao, Raul Coimbra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The concept of surgery and public health has been introduced in recent years, highlighting the impact of surgeons on improving public health outcomes, a relationship that has traditionally been ascribed to general practitioners. The purpose of this study is to quantify the effect of surgeon availability on deaths from motor vehicle crashes (MVC). Study Design: Retrospective analysis of the Area Resource File from 2006 was performed. The primary outcome variable was the three-year (2001-2003) average in MVC deaths per 1 million population for each county. The primary independent variable was the density of surgeons per 1 million population in year 2003. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed, adjusting for density of general practitioners, urbanicity of the county, and socioeconomic status of the county. Results: A total of 3,225 counties were analyzed. The median number of MVC deaths per million population was 226 (IQR 158-320). The median number of surgeon per million population was 55 (IQR 0-105), while the median number of general practitioners per million population was 424 (IQR 274-620). On unadjusted analysis, each increase of one surgeon per million population was associated with 0.38 fewer MVC deaths per million population (p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, each increase of one surgeon per million population was significantly associated with 0.16 fewer MVC deaths per million population (p <0.001). Rural location, persistent poverty, and low educational level were all associated with significant increases in MVC deaths. Conclusions: Higher density of surgeons is associated with significant reduction in deaths from MVCs. This highlights the need for 1) consideration of surgery as primary care and 2) development of inclusive surgical systems designed to provide care commensurate with patients' degree of injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-866
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume212
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Motor Vehicles
Population
General Practitioners
Public Health
Surgeons
Poverty
Social Class
Linear Models
Primary Health Care
Multivariate Analysis
Retrospective Studies
Regression Analysis
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Density of surgeons is significantly associated with reduced risk of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in US counties. / Chang, David C.; Eastman, Brent; Talamini, Mark A.; Osen, Hayley B.; Tran Cao, Hop S.; Coimbra, Raul.

In: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 212, No. 5, 05.2011, p. 862-866.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chang, David C. ; Eastman, Brent ; Talamini, Mark A. ; Osen, Hayley B. ; Tran Cao, Hop S. ; Coimbra, Raul. / Density of surgeons is significantly associated with reduced risk of deaths from motor vehicle crashes in US counties. In: Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2011 ; Vol. 212, No. 5. pp. 862-866.
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