Health and Medical Care Archive

This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

National Survey of Surgeons on Trauma Care Issues, March-July 1993 (ICPSR 6265)

Principal Investigator(s): Esposito, Thomas J., Loyola University. Shock Trauma Institute


This study investigated surgeons' practice patterns, experience and training in trauma care, and preferences and opinions about caring for trauma patients. Practice pattern variables include surgical specialty, type of surgical practice arrangement, type of appointment with a medical school or university, membership in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, or the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and whether the respondents' patients paid their bills through private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or an HMO. In addition, respondents were queried about their primary hospital, including number of beds, types of physicians employed in the trauma or emergency department, whether the hospital was officially recognized as a trauma center, whether it had a separate clinical trauma service with oversight and responsibility for the care of trauma patients, whether surgical patients were covered 24 hours a day by a resident or in-house physician, and whether there was 24-hour coverage by a resident or in-house physician in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit. To assess experience and training in trauma care, respondents were asked how often they were inappropriately called to evaluate and treat trauma patients, if they had taken trauma call at any hospital during the last 12 months, how many trauma patients they treated during the last 12 months and for what percent of them they received compensation, whether they had taken the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Course in the last four years, how much they had learned about trauma from residency training, post-residency fellowship, combat duty in the Armed Forces, journal articles, and colleagues, how confident they were in their ability to provide resuscitation, diagnosis, operative care, and critical care, if they had ever been named in a malpractice suit in a trauma case, non-trauma emergency case, or non-emergency case in certain disease categories, and whether this litigation made them reluctant to take on these types of cases. Preferences and opinions on the care of trauma patients were investigated through questions that asked respondents if they preferred to treat adult or pediatric trauma patients, if they preferred to treat blunt or penetrating trauma, and how taking care of trauma patients affected their image with their peers and community. Respondents were also queried about incentives and disincentives for treating trauma patients, reasons for not providing trauma care, opinions on how trauma cases compared with other emergency cases, and opinions on how various aspects of trauma care in their community were deficient. The data also include information on the age, gender, and geographic location (census region) of the respondents.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Esposito, Thomas J. National Survey of Surgeons on Trauma Care Issues, March-July 1993. ICPSR06265-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (19275)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    emergency departments, health insurance, Health Maintenance Organizations, health professions, hospitals, Medicaid, medical education, medical procedures, Medicare, patients, surgery, trauma centers

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1993-03-02--1993-07-01

Date of Collection:   

  • 1993-03-02--1993-07-01

Universe:    Physicians listed in the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Master File who reported to the AMA that they were in active, nonfederal practice in the United States and who spent the majority of time in a typical week as general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, or neurological surgeons.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Stratified, random sampling.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires and telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1995-08-16

Version History:

  • 1998-04-28 The codebook, project report, and data collection instrument are now available as PDF files.

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