OBJECTIVE: The goal was to examine the current scope of otolaryngologists' practices, their geographic distribution, and the roles otolaryngologists and other specialists play in caring for patients with otolaryngic and related conditions of the head and neck. STUDY DESIGN: A large national survey and administrative claims databases were examined to develop practice profiles and compile a physician supply for otolaryngology. A focus group of otolaryngologists provided information to model future scenarios. RESULTS: The current and predicted workforce supply and demographics are at a satisfactory level and are decreasing as a proportion of the increasing population. Empiric data analysis supports the diverse nature of an otolaryngologist's practice and the unique role for otolaryngologists that is not shared by many other providers. Together with the focus group results, the study points to areas for which more background and training are warranted. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents a first step in a process to form coherent workforce recommendations for the field of otolaryngology.
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