Practice patterns in academic otolaryngology 2006: a tool for the future.
Although the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery conducts a workforce survey annually, no study has been conducted to examine practice patterns as they pertain specifically to academic otolaryngology. Therefore, I developed the Academic Otolaryngologist Survey for this purpose. This survey, conducted in 2006, was mailed to 856 practicing otolaryngologists in the United States; 230 responded, for a return rate of 26.9%. Of the 230 respondents, 94% practiced full-time, 97% worked with otolaryngology residents and were board certified, and 67% had fellowship training in one or more subspecialties. The most commonly reported fellowships were in pediatric otolaryngology, facial plastic surgery, head and neck, and otology/neurotology. Respondents answered that they felt practice patterns had changed. Unlike the private-practice sector, academic otolaryngology is seeing a shift from generalists to subspecialists. The subspecialization becoming prevalent in academic otolaryngology may ultimately alter resident training. Therefore, academic programs need a balance of general and subspecialized otolaryngologists in order to train residents for practice.
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