Vascular surgery added as named specialty to influential national hospital rankings 

Ronald L. Dalman speaks from the podium during his Presidential Address at VAM 2021

U.S. News & World Report has renamed the specialty formerly known as “Cardiology & Heart Surgery” to include vascular surgery in its national rankings of the best hospitals in the country. 

The category will now be called “Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery,” the media company announced ahead of the Aug. 1 publication of its 2023–2024 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings.

“The specialty formerly known as Cardiology & Heart Surgery has been renamed Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery, in recognition that vascular specialists take the lead on some cases that have consistently been included in the specialty’s outcome measures,” write Ben Harder, managing editor, and Min Hee Seo, senior health data scientist. “In certain contexts, U.S. News will use the shorthand Heart & Vascular to refer to Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery.”

Recognition has long been sought for vascular surgery as a separate specialty within the rankings.

In 2020, the question of its inclusion was raised by then incoming SVS President Ronald L. Dalman, MD, and given a prominent spot in that year’s E. Stanley Crawford Critical Issues Forum, which took place during SVS ONLINE, the COVID-enforced digital replacement for VAM 2020. Dalman invited Harder to be part of the forum panel.

“One of the challenges for our members in the U.S. at the current time is the U.S. News & World Report rankings do not recognize vascular surgery as a separate specialty,” Dalman told Vascular Specialist at the time. “They have cardiology, cardiac surgery, neurological surgery, general surgery.”

“This move recognizes vascular surgery as an important specialty,” said SVS Executive Director Kenneth M. Slaw, PhD. “The SVS worked with U.S. News to enact this change, and as we move forward, we will continue to engage with the publication to offer suggestions to help with continued improvement of the rankings in the newly named domain.”


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