How surgeon age affects post-treatment surveillance strategies for melanoma patients.

J. A. Margenthaler, K. S. Virgo, D. Y. Johnson, E. M. Sugarbaker, B. S. Handler, F. E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The intensity of post-treatment melanoma patient follow-up varies widely among physicians. We investigated whether physician age accounts for the observed variation in surveillance intensity among plastic surgeons. A custom-designed questionnaire was mailed to USA and non-USA surgeons, all of whom were members of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Subjects were asked how they use 14 specific follow-up modalities during years 1-5 and 10 following primary treatment for patients with cutaneous melanoma. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare practice patterns by TNM stage, year post-surgery, and age. Of the 3,032 questionnaires mailed, 1,142 (38%) were returned. Of those returned, 395 (35%) were evaluable. Non-evaluability was usually due to lack of melanoma patient follow-up in surgeons' practices. Follow-up strategies for most of the 14 modalities were highly correlated across TNM stages and years post-surgery, as expected. The pattern of testing varied significantly by surgeon age for 3 modalities (complete blood count, liver function tests, and chest X-ray), but the variation was quite small. We concluded that the post-treatment surveillance practice patterns of ASPRS members caring for patients with cutaneous melanoma vary only marginally with physician age. Continuing medical education could account for this observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2001


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