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Christine O'Brien, Ryan Marsh; Pediatric Ophthalmology: Analysis of Fellowships and the Job Market. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):145.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To assess the specialty of pediatric ophthalmology in terms of supply (fellowships positions filled) and demand (compensation and job market) in order to perform an economic analysis of the present state of pediatric ophthalmology.
Fellowship match data for the past 4 years was acquired from the San Francisco Match. Reimbursement data was gathered from the Medscape Physician Compensation Report and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) physician compensation survey. Job market data is currently being collected from American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS).
From 2010-2013 an average of 43 participating programs offered 57 fellowship positions in pediatric ophthalmology. Over this period of time an average of 75% of pediatric ophthalmology positions were filled (range 63-88%) compared to an average of 91% across all other ophthalmic subspecialties (range 88-93%). In 2009 the average salary in multi-physician private practices for pediatric ophthalmology ($304,931) was lower than for comprehensive ophthalmology ($376,943) and retinal surgery ($619,114). Salary and job market data collection is ongoing.
Pediatric ophthalmology is currently in high demand across the United States. In spite of high demand the average reimbursement for pediatric ophthalmology is lower than comprehensive ophthalmology and every year a large number of fellowship positions go unfilled. A discrepancy exists between supply and demand because high demand and low supply should imply high wages. Lower reimbursement rates for pediatric ophthalmology are likely due to the time-intensive nature of both examining children and performing strabismus surgery. Residents are likely choosing to pursue other subspecialties due to the relatively lower reimbursement, difficulty examining pediatric patients, and interest in performing intraocular surgery with greater frequency.
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