Background During the past 25 years, there has been much debate about general surgical workforce supply and demand. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, concern was raised by the Study on Surgical Services for the United States and the Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Council that there would be a gross oversupply of total physicians and surgeons by the years 1990 and 2000. Data sources In a 1990 report sponsored by the Council on Graduate Medical Education, reevaluation of the workforce data showed no surplus at that time and instead predicted a deficit of surgeons by 2010. Studies by other investigators in the mid-1990s supported these conclusions. Furthermore, a new workforce model published in 2002 predicted a significant overall deficit of physicians by 2020. The discrepancies in the projected and the actual data have been explained by a variety of factors including an aging population with increased surgical needs, an increasing number of outpatient surgical procedures, subspecialization within the field of general surgery, and decreasing interest in the field by United States medical students. Conclusions Although it is difficult to compare data among studies, and there are many confounding factors in the data, review of the workforce data does support a future deficit of surgeons, a prediction that warrants further investigation. © 2004 Excerpta Medica, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below