Anesthesia provider outlook: 13 things to know


By 2033, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that there will be a shortage of 12,500 anesthesiologists, nearly 30% of the current staff, according to a report  from Medicus Healthcare Solutions. 

Anesthesia providers are necessary for nearly all specialty procedures, including orthopedic and spine procedures. 

Here are 12 additional things to know about the future of the anesthesiology workforce: 

1. Currently, the anesthesiology workforce is made up of 42,264 active anesthesiologists and 56,000 active certified registered nurse anesthetists. 

2. CRNA shortages are predicted to hit rural communities the hardest. By 2025, it is estimated there will be a gap of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses for direct patient care.

3. Over 17% of anesthesiologists are nearing retirement, and 56% are older than 55. 

4. There are currently 7,727 patients per one active anesthesiologist. 

5. There are 1,609 open anesthesiology residency positions offered yearly, and in 2023, 1,353 students seeking a residency did not match to one, signaling a shortage of open opportunities.

6.  Of the current CRNA population, 62% are 40 years or older, 36% are 30-40 and only 2% are 20-30. 

7.  CRNAs represent more than 80% of anesthesia providers in rural communities and administer more than 50 million anesthetics to patients each year. 

8.  CRNA school has an average acceptance rate of 24%. To meet patient demand, CRNA programs would need to more than double the number of new graduates entering and staying in the nursing workforce every year for the next three years straight.

9. An estimated 400 jobs will become available for anesthesiology physicians between 2021 and 2031. 

10. The states with the highest published employment rates for anesthesiologists include New York, New Jersey and Illinois. 

11. Last year, 47% of anesthesiologists reported being burned out. Fifty-four percent of anesthesiologists attributed their burnout to a lack of control or autonomy over their life and 44% attributed it to too many hours at work. 

12. About 56% of CRNAs felt very or somewhat burned out.

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