Five-Year Follow-Up on the Work Force and Finances of United States Anesthesiology Training Programs: 2000 to 2005


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Abstract

BACKGROUND:In the middle 1990s, there was a decrease in anesthesiology residency class sizes, which contributed to a nationwide shortage of anesthesiologists, resulting in a competitive market with increased salary demands. In 1999, a nationwide survey of the financial status of United States anesthesiology training programs was conducted. Follow-up surveys have been conducted each year thereafter. We present the results of the sixth survey in this series.METHODS:Surveys were distributed by e-mail to the anesthesiology department chairs of the United States Training Programs. Responses were also received by e-mail.RESULTS:One hundred twenty-one departments were surveyed with a response rate of 60%. The 87% of departments seeking at least one additional faculty had an average of 2.8 faculty open positions (5.5% open positions overall which is down from 9.7% in 2000). Of the 96% of departments that employ certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) 89% were seeking additional CRNAs, averaging 3.6 open positions. The average department received $4.9 million (or $116,000/faculty) in institutional support. When the portion of this support allocated for CRNA salaries was removed, the average department received $4.1 million (or $95,000/faculty) in institutional support. This is a 16% increase over the previous year. Faculty academic time averaged 17% (where 20% is 1 d/wk). Departments billed an average of 11,320 anesthesia units/faculty/yr. Although the average anesthesia unit value collected was $31, departments required approximately $40/U to meet expenses. Medicaid payments averaged $15, ranging from $5 to $30/U.CONCLUSION:These results demonstrate the continuing need for institutional support to keep anesthesiology training departments financially stable.

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