April 2009
Volume 50, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2009
Impact of the Economy and Recessions on the Ophthalmology Job Market
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. C. Nwanze, V
    Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • R. A. Adelman
    Ophthalmology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  C.C. Nwanze, V, None; R.A. Adelman, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Leir Foundation, Newman's Own, RPB
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2009, Vol.50, 5067. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      C. C. Nwanze, V, R. A. Adelman; Impact of the Economy and Recessions on the Ophthalmology Job Market. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5067.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To elucidate the economic drivers of the ophthalmology job market and to study the impact of economic recessions on the ophthalmology job market.

Methods: : A twenty year Analysis of a help-wanted index of physician recruitment advertisements appearing in the following journals: Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology from January 1986 through June 2006.

Results: : There have been two recessions in the last twenty years (July 1990 - March 1991 (recession 1) and March 2001-November 2001 (recession 2)). Demand for ophthalmologists one year after the recession when compared to baseline showed no significant changes (Recession 1, 93.7%, p = 0.112045, Recession 2, 98.9%, p = 0.682551). Whereas two years after the recession there was reduced demand (Recession 1, 85.5%, p = 0.011, Recession 2, 71.2%, p = 0.0037). Three years following the recession, the demand was reduced even further (Recession 1, 42.3%, p=0.00055, Recession 2, 57.8%, p = 0.00028). Specific economic factors associated with demand for academic ophthalmologists include national research expenditure and stock market gains (p = 0.00191), while demand for private practice ophthalmologists was associated with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and discretionary healthcare expenditure (p = 8.07 x 10-4).

Conclusions: : National research expenditure, stock market gains, GDP and discretionary healthcare expenditure have been associated with the ophthalmology job market. These factors tend to decline with economic recessions. Our data suggests that theses factors affect the job market for ophthalmologists 2-3 years following a recession. The full impact of recessions on the marketplace demand for ophthalmologist may not be manifest at the early phases of a recession.

Keywords: clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower 

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