The number of surgeon specialists is expected to decrease as the segment of the population over age 65 years continues to grow, resulting in a projected shortage of 25,200-33,000 surgeons by the year 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Those numbers are up from the shortage of 23,100-31,600 surgeons the AAMC estimated just last year for 2025. “Based on current trends, the supply of several larger surgical specialties (e.g., ophthalmology and urology) will fall, as future attrition is likely to exceed the number of new entrants. In other words, there will be fewer surgical specialists in 2025 than are practicing today,” the AAMC said in its 2016 report on physician supply and demand.
The analysis involved several different supply and demand scenarios that resulted in a wide range of estimates for physician shortages. The AAMC then narrowed down that range by reporting the 25th percentile (25,200) and the 75th percentile (33,000) of the projections.