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Sep 2011

An Analysis of Dermatologist Migration Patterns After Residency Training

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (Dr Resneck); and Department of Survey Research, American Academy of Dermatology, Schaumburg, Illinois (Mr Kostecki).

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(9):1065-1070. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.228

Objective To evaluate the migration patterns of dermatologists from residency training to eventual clinical practice to assess whether certain programs or regions were more likely to populate their own areas with graduates.

Design Analysis of existing data from the American Academy of Dermatology's membership database.

Setting The United States and Puerto Rico.

Participants Graduates of US dermatology residency programs completing training before 2005 and actively practicing in 2009. Data from 7067 practicing dermatologists were analyzed.

Main Outcome Measures Distance from training to practice site and state locations of training and practice sites.

Results Almost half (43%) of dermatologists practice within 100 miles of their residency training site, although substantial variation was observed in distance (mean, 538 miles; median, 189 miles). More than 70% of graduates from all but 1 New York City program remain within a 100-mile radius, and several California and Florida programs were most likely to retain trainees in state. The Midwest was a net exporter of residents to the West and South.

Conclusions The relationships between residency and eventual practice locations are complex, but certain regions and training programs have distinct graduate migration patterns. To the extent that further expansions in residency positions are undertaken with local supply and demand of dermatology services in mind, these patterns are among many factors that should be considered.