April 2010
Volume 51, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2010
Impact of the Current Economic Recession on the Ophthalmology Job Market
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. C. Nwanze
    Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • R. A. Adelman
    Ophthal & Visual Science, Yale Univ Sch of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  C.C. Nwanze, None; R.A. Adelman, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2010, Vol.51, 3245. doi:
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      C. C. Nwanze, R. A. Adelman; Impact of the Current Economic Recession on the Ophthalmology Job Market. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3245.

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

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Introduction: : Objective:To elucidate the economic drivers of the ophthalmology job market and to study the historical impact of economic recessions on the ophthalmology job market and to evaluate the impact of the current recession on the ophthalmology job market.

Methods: : A twenty-three 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 October 2009.

Results: : The United States has been in an economic recession since December 2007. When this current recession’s demand data is compared to baseline there is a significant decline in demand (49.7%, p = 7.34 x 10^-7). This is in contrast to the last two economic recessions (July 1990 - March 1991 (recession 1) and March 2001-November 2001 (recession 2)) where comparison to baseline showed no significant changes (Recession 1, 93.7%, p = 0.112045, Recession 2, 98.9%, p = 0.682551) in the first year of recession. During these last two recessions, demand was significant reduced two (Recession 1, 85.5%, p = 0.011, Recession 2, 71.2%, p = 0.0037) and three (Recession 1, 42.3%, p=0.00055, Recession 2, 57.8%, p = 0.00028) years following the recessions.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 the current recession appears to have had a larger short-term impact on the ophthalmology job market compared to previous recessions. Given the historically lagged impact of recessions on the ophthalmology job market, the current recession's impact on the job market may continue for a period of time.

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

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