2 big trends in the orthopedic surgeon workforce — who is in high demand?

Written by Laura Dyrda | December 20, 2018 | Print  |

Kyri Ioannou, regional vice president of The Medicus Firm, discusses key trends in orthopedics for 2019.

 

Question: What are the top trends you see in orthopedics recruiting and employment today?

Kyri Ioannou: From a workforce and recruiting/employment perspective, some of the trends we are seeing in orthopedic surgery that will likely carry into 2019 include an increased demand for general orthopedic surgeons, as many new orthopedic surgeons are opting to complete the extra year of subspecialty fellowship training, to focus solely on one very particular clinical area within orthopedic medicine (such as hand, spine, trauma or sports medicine only). This will further intensify the need for general orthopedic surgeons, especially in small-to mid-size communities.

Additionally, many orthopedic subspecialists coming out of training are seeking a very high concentration of subspecialty work right out of the gate — 80 to 90 percent subspecialty cases versus 10 to 20 percent general, for example, which is very challenging for a health system to guarantee to an incoming physician in most areas. A more realistic case mix to start would be 50 percent general orthopedic, 50 percent subspecialty cases.

Q: What is the best opportunity for growth?

KI: From a growth perspective, strategies vary by community and system, but one other trend we've noticed in 2018 that may carry into 2019 is that more systems, in mid-sized communities especially, want to hire orthopedic trauma surgeons to establish and/or expand their orthopedic trauma department. That said, employers and health systems need to be sure there is a verifiable need for orthopedic trauma surgeons — it's especially important to confirm the realistic need for ortho trauma surgeons, and that there are enough cases to support them.

Secondly, there are only about 600 to 700 certified orthopedic trauma surgeons in the country, so it's imperative to consider recruiting challenges and plan accordingly for them when establishing or growing the orthopedic trauma department. This is particularly challenging because many of the ortho/trauma specialists prefer level I trauma centers in major metro areas.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com

For a deeper dive into the future of orthopedics, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-5, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.


More articles on orthopedic surgery:
Dr. Jason Weisstein: 3 Qs on the big challenges and best opportunities for orthopedic surgeons next year
Dr. Jonathan Schoenecker on how VR helps orthopedic surgeons train for the OR
10 orthopedic surgeon leaders to know

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