The U.S. Defense Health Board has started a review of policies for complex surgical procedures, including total hip replacement and total knee replacement, performed at military hospitals in the United States and abroad. After a report by US News & World Report this week that examined volume data and found complex surgeries are performed in small numbers. “Extensive research demonstrates that doctors and hospitals with the highest volumes of certain complex surgical procedures achieve the best results. But military surgeons treat patients who are predominantly young and rarely need surgery, making it difficult for them to sustain their proficiency and their readiness to go to war,” according to a follow up article. The Board will seek to find solutions, including embedding military surgeons in civilian hospitals, and advise the Secretary of Defense on its findings in November. Full story.

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