In the United States healthcare space, there is often dialogue presented regarding the projected shortage of physicians throughout the country in the coming years. Although medical school admissions remain as competitive as ever, with over 50,000 applicants to the American Medical College Application Service this past year, students filter into a relatively tiny number of medical schools and are dispersed unequally across the states for residency training, and eventually permanent medical practice1. It is often cited that primary care physicians, such as internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatric medicine clinicians, are in a reported shortage in underserved areas of the U.S., such as rural areas. However, recent analyses have suggested that highly specialized physicians are similarly in shortage in rural areas, with an emphasis on anesthesiologists.
As strongholds in the perioperative care cycle, anesthesiologists are necessary and indispensable for a majority of surgical and medical procedures. In 2010, the prestigious non-profit organization RAND Corporation published a study that predicted a shortage of between 4,500 and 12,000 anesthesiologists nationwide by 20202