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Is anesthesia residencies expanding too much?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by gasdoc, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. gasdoc

    gasdoc Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    Perhaps those in the interview circuit would be more knowledgeable than me. But, its seems that I hear from the grapevine that anesthesia residencies big and small are all expanding their number of spots again now that american grads are so interested. I would have thought they would have gotten smart after the mid 90s fiasco (w/ nobody going in) to be prudent about this rapid expansion. This seems to only to help ensure that I will have a harder time finding a job in 4 years. I know that other specialties like derm, ent, and ortho all seem to do an excellent job of limiting their numbers. I would like to hear more from the interviewees this year on this issue.
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  3. John90210

    John90210 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Anesthesia depts. only care about getting free labor. Unfortunately, they think of the bottom line and because anesthesia is a such a service oriented speciality, this will continue. Anesthesia job market cycles and it actually is pretty brutal compared to other fields in medicine. Just hang on for the ride!
  4. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
    The incr. #'s only reflect the fact that there is a real & substancial lack of anesthesia in many areas of the country. Supressing graduates will only further encourage hiring CRNA's for coverage & be counter productive.
  5. migraineboy

    migraineboy Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2001
    None of the programs that I interviewed with this year said anything about increasing the size of their programs in the near future. Many of the programs were excited, however, about the fact that they would fill all of their spots this year as many of the programs have had many unfilled spots in the past few years. You would hope that they would have enough foresight to not create an excess of anesthesiologist for the next decade. Virtually every PD I spoke with said that it would take several years of full programs to turn out enough new anesthesiologist to begin to fill the shortage. Many said that there would be a shortage for at least the next 10 years and one told me that the shortage could last as long as 50 years (I have no idea how you could forecast that). I wish I knew more about the numbers. Anybody have any good, reliable resources?
  6. Jubal

    Jubal Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    AS I posted before, doing the math, it looks that the numbers are not increasing, but rather decreasing, at least the numbers offerd through the match. The drop seems to be insignisifcant however. There are always spots offered outside the match(to FMG's and US MD's changing specialties or applying after transitional year)and we don't know how many. The fact is that you can't just increase your positions from 10 to 20 overnight. There are specific hospital policies on the number of residents each department has, and the total number has to be constant, or proportional to the facility(size, departmental structure and proprtion).
    We might see an increase in te positions offered through the MATCH which doesn't mean an absolute increase of spots. Just a shift of numbers in favor of the MATCH vs. outside the MATCH.
  7. gasdoc

    gasdoc Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2001
    Jubal makes a good point that there may just be a shift from offering more spots in the match instead ofunder the table. Believe it or not, programs in recent years purposely limited the number of spots during the match to make themselves look better by having them filled. They had spots offered to FMGs and the like before and after the match, as well as for transitionals who decided to going into anesthesia.

    But, overall, I believe departments are expanding if they can get the medicare money for new residents, etc. Medicare, in case you don't know, funds most of residency salary and training.

    According to the ASA, there will be at least a 10 year shortage of anesthesiologists due to the 90s decline as well as retiring anesthesiologists.

    But, overall, I believe some of you are right in that depts are looking at the bottom like and trying to increase us resident cheap labor to save money. But, I just hope they learned their lesson after being literally the butt of all specialty jokes by having virtually no one going in a few years ago.

    For those on the interview trail, how does it look? Last year, I saw mostly all american grads. How is it this year? I am sure the residency directors are thrilled to see bright AMGs (no offense to FMGs but AMGs are a marker of a specialty's success) going back in.
  8. navs

    navs Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2001
    I totally agree with the theory of why anesth. spots are high and maybe increasing.

    It is most likely the effect of having "cheap labor" so they can run more O.R.s, thus more surgeries, thus more money for the hospital. Most hospitals make their money off the surgeries they preform and they wouldn't want the rate limiting step to be the no. of anesthesia guys to man the rooms.

    Also, I have heard the same that the current shortage is expected to continue for at least a decade, before seeing noticeable recovery. Obviously, the market will not be how it is now, but due to the nature of the field (procedure oriented and essentially being a consultant) u will always make money.

    The best thing I would figure is to try to get into a good program if possible, to insure if their is competition for jobs u are more competitive.
  9. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2001
    Haven't we learned anything from the low-point of the mid-90s? People can not predict jack-crap about the job market! Ask yourself, are these the shmucks who made dire predictions a few years ago the same punks making the rosy predictions today? It's like watching the Weather Channel. I don't make career decisions based on the possibilities of a tomorrow, but rather, what I want out of that particular specialty. It's annoying to see so many AMGs flocking to anesthesia because they've read this study and that publication that the job prospect will be great for the next millenium and the money is excellent. We clearly haven't learn anything.

    There were a few schools where I interviewed that are increasing the number of spots available. But overall, the PDs I talked with said they hope to keep the number the same so as not to flood the market later. In particular, one PD mentioned that in the near future some residency governing body (forgot the name) will cement the number of residents allowed at each program so that we will not see the wild fluctuations of the past.

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