Does Switzerland train tomorrow's surgeons today? Today's reflections on tomorrow's surgeons

Swiss Surg. 2002;8(3):103-5. doi: 10.1024/1023-9332.8.3.103.


Various factors are influencing the Swiss health care system, and therefore, surgeons' actual and future profession. Initiated by the current president of the Swiss Society of Surgery, a group of eight young Swiss surgeons constituted the ad hoc committee "Chirurgie 2020". The goal was to develop several scenarios of the surgeon's professional situation in 20 years. The future direction of surgery will be markedly influenced by medical innovation, political and economic relationships between Switzerland and Europe. However, the development of health care costs represents the most powerful factor predicting all further changes. The current situation of today's surgeons is best characterised as "hamsters in the treadmill" who try to fulfill a multitude of diverging tasks causing major demotivation. In order to retain a leading role in the health care system, surgeons must take part in social and political activities. To provide an excellent curriculum, university and county hospitals must join together to form clinical and educational networks. A clearly defined and structured curriculum must be introduced by the Swiss Society of Surgery. From our current point of view, only everyone's strong personal commitment will help to find solutions and to improve the current and future situation. In particular, today's surgical residents must actively take part in the development of tomorrow's surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs / trends*
  • Physician's Role
  • Politics
  • Switzerland