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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Trends in Graduate Medical Education and Subspecialization Amid Changing Demographics

Petriceks, Aldis H. BA; Hales, Hannah A. BS; Srivastava, Sakti MBBS, MS

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: October 2019 - Volume 98 - Issue 10 - p 931–936
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001218
Education & Administration

With an aging and growing US population, American healthcare faces an impending physician shortage. This is important for the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation, because physiatrists’ skills in managing chronic conditions and functional outcomes are especially relevant to an older population. The present study was designed to better understand the future physical medicine and rehabilitation workforce, by recording and analyzing the quantities of Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education–accredited physical medicine and rehabilitation graduate medical education programs and positions between 2001–2002 and 2017–2018. Results indicated that physical medicine and rehabilitation graduate medical education has grown since 2001–2002, especially in subspecialties such as pediatric rehabilitation and sports medicine. However, the growth in physical medicine and rehabilitation residency positions has been three-fold lower than that of total graduate medical education. In addition, subspecialization has become increasingly prevalent, and residency positions have declined relative to the population of older adults. The future identity of physical medicine and rehabilitation will continue to develop as professional and demographic trends shape this important medical specialty.

From the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (AHP); and Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California (HAH, SS).

All correspondence should be addressed to: Aldis H. Petriceks, BA, Harvard Medical School, 107 Ave Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115.

Aldis H. Petriceks is in training.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Online date: May 6, 2019

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