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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a substantial effect on surgeons and patients who require surgical care. Providing care for patients with surgical disease requires a unique and intimate relationship between the patient and surgeon, and this interaction and contact cannot be replaced by telehealth. As such, the surgical workforce has faced distinct challenges compared with nonsurgical specialties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific issues include the best approach to protect health care personnel and the patient; the ability to efficiently regulate delivery of surgical care; the detrimental effects on patients with surgical disease; the financial implications of the pandemic on health care systems; the management of surgical workforce shortages; the implications for education, research, and career development; and the emotional toll to all involved.
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Corresponding Author: Melina R. Kibbe, MD, Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 101 Manning Dr, Burnett Womack Bldg, Ste 4041, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7050 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
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