Articles  |   January 2018
Return to Anesthetic Practice After a Prolonged Absence
Author Affiliations
  • Jonathan D. Katz, M.D.
    Committee on Occupational Health
  • Amanda Burden, M.D.
    Committee on Quality Management and Departmental Administration
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Quality Improvement / Articles
Articles   |   January 2018
Return to Anesthetic Practice After a Prolonged Absence
ASA Monitor 01 2018, Vol.82, 26-28.
ASA Monitor 01 2018, Vol.82, 26-28.
The United States is facing a projected physician shortage. According to a report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there could be a shortfall of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by the year 2030.1  A recent analysis projects a shortage of more than 4,400 anesthesiologists by the year 2020.2 
One significant component of this projected shortfall is the population of clinicians who take a temporary leave of absence from practice. It is estimated that as many as 11 percent of pediatricians take a leave from practice for six months or greater at some point during their careers.3  And the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers it a sufficiently frequent event that they declared re-entry as the “issue of the year” in 2012.4  Data are not available to estimate how many anesthesiologists fit into this category. All totaled, as many as 10,000 physicians per year who have taken temporary leave are potential candidates to re-enter medical practice and contribute in efforts to address shortages.5 
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