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Future growth of physicians and non-physician providers within the U.S. Dermatology workforce

  • Author(s): Sargen, Michael R
  • Shi, Lucy
  • Hooker, Roderick S
  • Chen, Suephy C
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Trends in the training, supply, availability, career decisions, and retirement of US dermatology physicians are not well delineated. The current study evaluates whether growth in the dermatology workforce will keep pace with population expansion in the United States. A dermatologist supply model was projected to 2030 drawing on data from the American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Association of Medical Colleges, and other associations. The clinically active dermatologist workforce in 2015 was 36 per capita (1,000,000); entry following postgraduate training was age 30 with career separation at age 65 on average. Added to the provider model are physician assistants and nurse practitioners in dermatology practices. A linear regression micro simulation model based on age cohorts produced a per capita supply of dermatology providers of 61 (±3) per 1,000,000 by 2030, up from 47 in 2016. The dermatology workforce is growing faster than population expansion. Workforce estimates could be affected by changing trends in retirement and training of dermatology providers. Investments in training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, in addition to training more doctors, may be an effective strategy for increasing access to care in populations with low dermatologist density.

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