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Surgery. 2007 Dec;142(6):876-83. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

The maturation of a specialty: Workforce projections for endocrine surgery.

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  • 1Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA.



There has been an increase in the incidence of endocrine diseases and the number of endocrine procedures in the United States. Higher surgeon volume is associated with improved patient outcomes. Fellowship programs will lead to more specialty-trained endocrine surgeons. We make projections for the supply of endocrine surgeons and demand for endocrine procedures over the next 15 years.


Supply projections are based on data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, a survey of American Association of Endocrine Surgery fellowship program graduates, and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS). Demand is estimated using HCUP-NIS, U.S. Census Bureau projections, and a literature review.


There were 64,275 endocrine procedures performed in 2000 and 80,505 in 2004. Using age-adjusted population projections and increasing incidence of endocrine diseases, 103,704 endocrine procedures are anticipated in 2020. High-volume endocrine surgeons are few in number, but perform 24% of endocrine procedures. Surgeon supply is projected to increase to 938 by 2020; this is based on fellowship graduation rates, retirement trends, and increasing annual endocrine case volume among high-volume surgeons. Alternative projections of supply and demand are generated to test the sensitivity of our analyses to different assumptions.


Labor force planning in endocrine surgery is essential if the demand for more high-volume endocrine specialists is to be met.

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