Demand-based assessment of workforce requirements for orthopaedic services

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

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On the basis of an analysis of the supply of and demand for orthopedic surgeons, the authors projected that there will be 21,134 full-time-equivalent orthopedists in the year 2010 if training continues at current levels. They estimated a demand-based requirement of 17,012 full-time-equivalent orthopedic surgeons, indicating a surplus of 4122 full-time equivalents. In terms of orthopedist-to-population ratios, they estimated that there will be 7.5 full-time-equivalent orthopedists per 100,000 population in 2010 compared with a demand-based requirement of 6.0 full-time equivalents. However, they did not include estimates of the demand for orthopedic surgeons as assistants in the operating room in the model. If an assistant orthopedic surgeon is required for all procedures, an additional 3906 full-time-equivalent orthopedists would be demanded, thus eliminating the surplus. The demand for an assistant orthopedic surgeon in only half of the procedures would still lead to a sizable reduction in the surplus.

Originally published in: The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, v. 80-A, no. 3, March 1998, pp. 313-326.

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