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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Mar;194(3):697-703. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.2437.

Who's underworked and who's overworked now? An update on radiologist shortage and surplus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.



The purpose of this study was to present an updated report on the radiologist surplus and shortage situation using a recently developed improved measure-namely, the extent to which radiologists desire less or more work if their income were to change by the same percentage as their workload.


Non-individually identifiable data from the American College of Radiology's (ACR's) 2007 Survey of Diagnostic Radiologists were used. Responses were weighted to be representative of all posttraining professionally active radiologists in the United States. Information is presented for all radiologists and according to such factors as type and size of practice, radiologist subspecialty, and geographic region. Multivariable regression analysis was used to identify the probable causal links between desired workload change and characteristics of radiologists and the practices where they work. Comparisons were made with ACR's similar 2003 Survey of Radiologists.


The net average workload change sought in 2007 was an approximately 3% increase. In 2003, radiologists on average did not desire a statistically significant change in workload. Regression analysis for 2007 showed a pattern of relative shortages and surpluses that was generally, but not entirely, different from that found in 2003.


The overall balance between the demand and the supply of radiologists shifted toward a surplus between 2003 and 2007. According to our measure, we judge there was a close balance in 2003, but a 3% surplus in 2007. The employment market seems generally, but not universally, to self-correct relative shortages and surpluses in individual geographic areas and subspecialties within a few years.

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