Conclusion

This is a time in the history of medicine when truly revolutionary change is occurring, and at a rate that has never been seen before. While it is a historic fact that each generation of surgeons greatly surpasses the accomplishments of the preceding generation, the order of magnitude of change that is occurring now is unprecedented. The surgeon of the future will need to adapt, to be able to learn a wider range of the new technologies, and quicker than ever before. And the amount of information that needs to be learned will increase. The paradigm of training is changing from simple mentor ship to proficiency-based, quantifiable assessment, and the surgeon will be held to even higher standards than today. Yet, the extra amount of work required to achieve these new standards is essential to be worthy of the enormous responsibilities that the changes of the coming generation will bring—the surgeons of the future will not only hold the lives of their individual patients in their hands, but may be responsible for the future of what it means to be human.

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