Projecting the need for gynecologic oncologists for the next 40 years.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the ratio of gynecologic cancer cases to practicing gynecologic oncologists in the United States over the next 40 years. METHODS: Using population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau and incidence and mortality rates from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results surveys, we estimated the annual number of new gynecologic cancer cases through 2050; the effects of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination was included in cervical cancer estimates. The number of practicing gynecologic oncologists was projected through 2050 using data from the 2005 Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Practice Survey, current Society of Gynecologic Oncologists membership information, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology oral examination results, and mortality estimates from U.S. life tables. Projected time in practice was sex-dependent based on Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Practice Survey. For sensitivity analyses, we varied annual number and sex distribution of fellowship graduates, HPV vaccination coverage rates, and future incidence of overweight and obesity. RESULTS: At constant training rates, the annual number of new cancer cases per practicing gynecologic oncologist will rise from 112 in 2010 to 133 in 2050, a 19% increase. If the annual number of fellowship graduates increases by 25%, the ratio of cancer cases per gynecologic oncologist will decrease to 106, a 5% decrease. Projections are more sensitive to changes in physician demographics than to changes in HPV vaccination coverage rates. CONCLUSION: The gynecologic cancer caseload of practicing gynecologic oncologists will increase by almost 20% over the next 40 years at constant training rates. Changes in the projected sex distribution of fellowship graduates and their time in practice affect these projections.
Wallace, AH; Havrilesky, LJ; Valea, FA; Barnett, JC; Berchuck, A; Myers, ER
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