From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:
…the number of general surgeons per capita has declined for the past few decades in this country. Specialties with predictable hours, such as emergency medicine and dermatology, are wildly popular. And, as we noted last year, the percentage of surgeons choosing going into surgical subspecialties — which offer better pay and often better hours than general surgery — has gone up sharply in the past 15 years.
Now the Washington Post adds a long look at the scarcity of general surgeons, most acute in rural areas where population density is too low to support the legions of surgical specialists that cluster in cities.