Status of the Anesthesia Workforce in 2011: Evolution During the Last Decade and Future Outlook Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182575b4e PMID: 22759857 Web of Science: 000306769500029

Cited authors

  • Schubert, Armin; Eckhout, Gifford V.; Ngo, Anh L.; Tremper, Kevin K.; Peterson, Mary D.


  • The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive assessment of the anesthesia workforce during the past decade and attempt forecasting the future based on present knowledge. The supply of anesthesiologists has gradually recovered from a deficit in the mid to late 1990s. Current entry rates into our specialty are the highest in more than a decade, but are still below the level they were in 1993. These factors along with slower surgical growth and less capital available for expanding anesthetizing locations have resulted in greater availability of anesthesiologists in the labor market. Despite these recent events, the intermediate-term outlook of a rapidly aging population and greater access of previously uninsured patients portends the need to accommodate increasing medical and surgical procedures requiring anesthesia, barring disruptive industry innovations. Late in the decade, nationwide surveys found shortages of anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists to persist. In response to increasing training program output with stagnant surgical growth, compensation increases for these allied health professionals have moderated in the present. Future projections anticipate increased personnel availability and, possibly, less compensation for this group. It is important to understand that many of the factors constraining current demand for anesthesia personnel are temporary. Anesthesiologist supply constrained by small graduation growth combined with generation- and gender-based decrements in workforce contribution is unlikely to keep pace with the substantial population and public policy-generated growth in demand for service, even in the face of productivity improvements and innovation. (Anesth Analg 2012;115:407-27)

Publication date

  • 2012

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-2999

Start page

  • 407

End page

  • 427


  • 115


  • 2