“Hey Doctor, How Many Times Have You Performed this Surgery?”

Doesn’t it just make common sense that the more times someone performs a specific task, requiring some degree of skill, that they will get better at performing the task? I certainly think so and a recent article on surgical outcomes proves the point.

The article appears in Health magazine and was written by Kathryn Doyle.  The article summarizes the results of a study of over 1 million surgeries.  The conclusion:

The more procedures surgeons have performed, the better their patients’ outcomes, at least until the doctors hit a learning plateau, according to a new analysis of data on more than one million surgeries. The flattening out of the learning curve happens at different points – ranging from 25 to 750 procedures – for different types of surgery.


Not surprising but what should you do with this information?  I suggest you ask your surgeon who has recommended gallbladder surgery, bariatric surgery, colon or rectal surgery, head and neck surgery, back surgery, or joint replacement surgery, “hey doctor, how many times have you performed this surgery?”  If the doctor is offended, I suggest you get another doctor.

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.