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Patients May Have to Wait for Life-Saving Care

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WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Society of Thoracic Surgeons cordially invites you to a special congressional and press briefing entitled "Heart Disease and Lung Cancer Won't Wait, But Patients May Have to Wait for Life-Saving Care," where you will learn about the disturbing national trend affecting seniors and the surgical specialty which treats heart disease and lung cancer, the two leading causes of death for Americans.

On June 13, cardiothoracic surgery training programs around the country will announce their list of new residents for 2008 via the National Residency Match Program. For the third consecutive year, approximately one third of the residency slots for cardiothoracic surgeons will go unfilled. Since 1993, applicant numbers have dropped 74 percent.

Compounding the problem is new survey research showing that 50 percent of cardiothoracic surgeons are planning to retire within 10 years and 75 percent within 13 years. It takes 12 years (medical school and residency) to train a cardiothoracic surgeon. This equates to an immediate crisis for patients with heart disease and lung cancer - they may soon have to wait for critical surgical care.

Demand will skyrocket as 78 million Baby Boomers enter their 60s, while the supply dwindles to dangerously low levels. Cardiothoracic surgeons are the leaders in quality improvement and recruitment of the best and the brightest into the specialty is essential.

Hear from leading cardiothoracic surgeons and residents as well as their patients about the problem and the solutions offered by members of Congress.

Food and refreshments will be provided. When: Monday, June 18, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. Where: U.S. Capitol, Room HC-7 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

CONTACT: Kirsi Mendoza of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons,

+1-202-481-1026, kmendoza@sts.org

Web site: http://www.sts.org/

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