Anyone notice how unpopular general surgery is these days? General surgery is starting to look like anesthesia, circa 1994 -- an unpopular residency choice amongst American grads. The recent decline in reimbursement rates, the difficulties and stress of the residency, and the recent desire by American grads to go into the "lifestyle" fields, have started to take a severe toll on gen surg. I've talked to friends in some competitive programs and I've been told that a number of good programs had to reach down deep into their rank lists this year for applicants. Case in point, I remember seeing last April, for the first time in my life [and in some of my attendings' lifetimes], ads in the New York Times for PGY1 general surgery residents. If you want to be a surgeon and you're a pretty mediocre US med student, this may be one of the best times to get into the field. I have a feeling that, like anesthesia in the mid 1990s, a steady drop in the number of residents over the next few years and an aging American population will eventually lead to much better salaries for general surgeons in the future.