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Performance of Surgical Residents Questioned

Patients planning to have surgery must make a whole host of decisions before going under the knife. Deciding whether to have a seasoned surgeon with plenty of experience perform the surgery or a new doctor knowledgeable in the latest technology and procedures is one of the many tough choices that must be made. However, the results of a new study might make it easier for patients finding it difficult to decide.

The Annals of Surgery, an online surgical science journal, recently published a study that compared the performance of surgical residents against the performance of more experienced doctors. Interestingly, the study revealed no significant increase in surgical errors, complications or deaths with those fresh out of med school.

About 60,000 surgeries from 2005-2007 performed throughout the U.S. were examined and the data shows that only 6 percent of those lead to complications where a resident performed or was involved in the operation. Death rates as well weren't increased for surgical residents.

Despite this good news, patients considering surgery should be sure to ask plenty of questions and research their doctors-whether experienced or not-who will perform the surgery. The risk of medical errors and complications are always possible during any operation.

Source: Reuters, Having a trainee surgeon in operations is safe-study, Aug 15, 2012

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