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February 15, 1985

Manpower Issues for a Surgical Specialty: The Impact of Oversupply

JAMA. 1985;253(7):1025-1026. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350310107037

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Physician manpower is an issue that deserves and is receiving considerable attention at present. The number of practicing physicians has increased by approximately one third during the past decade, and it is projected that it will increase in approximately the same amount during the next ten years. While most of us find drastic change upsetting and tend to resist change, the consequences of this dramatic event are fundamental to the manner in which all of us will conduct our professional activities for the remainder of our careers. Two facts seem clear: first, this is a complex area and does not lend itself to oversimplification or overgeneralization, and, second, there is likely to be considerable difference in the impact of this general manpower growth from one specialty to another.

For the sake of further discussion, let us make the following two assumptions concerning the specialty of Otolaryngology— Head and Neck Surgery: