Cover: Subspecialty Distributions of Ophthalmologists in the Workforce

Subspecialty Distributions of Ophthalmologists in the Workforce

Published 1998

by Paul Lee, Daniel A. Relles, Catherine A. Jackson

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the distribution of the supply and requirements for subspecialty ophthalmologists.

METHODS: Estimates from the Eye Care Workforce Study were used to provide subspecialty-based assessments of the supply and public health need, as well as market demand, for care provided by subspecialists. Reconciliation with the boundary models (optometry first, ophthalmology first) of the Eye Care Workforce Study and current market status also were performed.

RESULTS: Whether subspecialists are in excess depends first on which boundary model most closely approximates the current market conditions. Under an optometry-first model, 70% of all ophthalmologists are in excess, although subspecialists (39%) are relatively less in excess than comprehensive ophthalmologists (91% excess). Under an ophthalmology-first model, no ophthalmologists would be in excess. Extrapolating from current market conditions, a slight excess of ophthalmologists exists, probably proportional across subspecialists and comprehensive ophthalmologists. Future growth in the ophthalmologist supply will be almost entirely among subspecialists.

CONCLUSION: Under current market conditions, substantial excesses in subspecialist ophthalmologists are likely to develop and grow worse over time, given current training levels.

Reprinted with permission from Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 116, July 1998, pp. 917-920. Copyright © 1998 American Medical Association.

Originally published in: Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 116, July 1998, pp. 917-920.

This report is part of the RAND reprint series. The Reprint was a product of RAND from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.