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Acad Emerg Med. 2009 Oct;16(10):1014-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00509.x. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

Supply and demand of board-certified emergency physicians by U.S. state, 2005.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



The objective was to estimate the emergency medicine (EM) board-certified emergency physician (EP) workforce supply and demand by U.S. state.


The 2005 National Emergency Department Inventories-USA provided annual visit volumes for U.S. emergency departments (EDs). We estimated full-time equivalent (FTE) EP demand at each ED by dividing the actual number of visits by the estimated average EP visit volume (3,548 visits/year) and then summing FTEs by state. Our model assumed that at least one EP should be present 24/7 in each ED. The number of EM board-certified EPs per state was provided by the American Board of Medical Specialties (American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Pediatrics) and the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine. We used U.S. Census Bureau civilian population estimates to calculate EP population density by state.


The supply of EM board-certified EPs was 58% of required FTEs to staff all EDs nationally and ranged from 10% in South Dakota to 104% in Hawai'i (i.e., there were more EPs than the estimated need). Texas and Florida had the largest absolute shortages of EM board-certified EPs (2,069 and 1,146, respectively). The number of EM board-certified EPs per 100,000 U.S. civilian population ranged from 3.6 in South Dakota to 13.8 in Washington, DC. States with a higher population density of EM board-certified EPs had higher percent high school graduates and a lower percent rural population and whites.


The supply and demand of EM board-certified EPs varies by state. Only one state had an adequate supply of EM board-certified EPs to fully staff its EDs.

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