IMAJ | volume
Journal 4, April 2006
Background: Anesthesiology is a vital specialty that permits the safe and humane performance of painful procedures. Most Israeli anesthesiologist are immigrants, while only a minimal number of Israeli medical school graduates enter the specialty. Unfortunately, the supply of immigrant physicians is declining due to falling immigration rates.
Objectives: To examine the current Israeli anesthesiology workforce and project future needs.
Methods: Demographic and professional information about Israeli hospital anesthesiologists was solicited from anesthesiology department heads. Data were also gathered about the past, present and projected future growth, age distribution and birth rate of the Israeli population. Needs and demand-based analyses were used to project future anesthesiology workforce requirements.
Results: Data about 711 anesthesiologists were obtained from 30 hospital anesthesiology department heads. Eighty-seven anesthesiologists (12.2%) graduated from Israeli medical schools and 459 (64.6%) graduated from medical schools in the former Soviet Union. Among the 154 anesthesiology residents were ≤ 40 years old, and only 13 (8.4%) graduated from Israeli medical schools There are approximately 10.8 anesthesiologists per 100,000 population. Projections for 2005–2015 revealed a need for 250–300 new anesthesiologists.
Conclusions: The anesthesiology workforce is predominantly composed of immigrants. This has vast implications for the future viability of the specialty because of the continuing reduction in immigration, the lack of interest in the specialty by Israeli medical school graduates, and the projected need for many new anesthesiologists to replace retirees and to provide care to a growing and aging population