Acute care surgery in evolution

Crit Care Med. 2010 Sep;38(9 Suppl):S405-10. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181ec55c8.


At the center of the development of acute care surgery is the growing difficulty in caring for patients with acute surgical conditions. Care demands continue to grow in the face of an escalating crisis in emergency care access and the decreasing availability of surgeons to cover emergency calls. To compound this problem, there is an ever-growing shortage of general surgeons as technological advances have encouraged subspecialization. Developed by the leadership of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the specialty of acute care surgery offers a training model that would produce a new breed of specialist with expertise in trauma surgery, surgical critical care, and elective and emergency general surgery. This article highlights the evolution of the specialty in hope that these acute care surgeons, along with practicing general surgeons, will bring us closer to providing superb and timely care for patients with acute surgical conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Critical Care*
  • Critical Illness
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / trends
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Humans
  • Specialization*
  • Traumatology / education*
  • United States
  • Workforce