Background The current medico-economic environment has led to profound changes in our health care system and questions of physician surplus. These issues have particularly affected the academic health care system, as research funding and departmental support have decreased, and many young otolaryngologists are questioning academic careers because of these uncertainties. The current study was undertaken to assess the workforce environment for the academic otolaryngologist, particularly the young physician. Methods Surveys were sent to the academic chairmen of all accreditedotolaryngology residency programs in the United States, requesting information on faculty appointments—actual and projected—as well as subspecialty appointments and expectations of young faculty. Results The response rate was 60% (59/98). Faculty additions have been relatively stable from 1994 to 1998, with approximately 37 assistant professor and 5 associate professor positions filled yearly. Faculty additions were the result of departmental expansion in 83% of cases and spanned many subspecialties. The subspecialty positions most frequently added from 1994 to 1998 were generalists (57), head and neck oncologists (53), pediatric otolaryngologists (48), and otologists (39), with generalists filling 15 positions in 1998. Ninety-three percent of programs anticipate faculty additions in the next 5 years; most will be at the assistant professor level (77%), with 30% of positions for generalists, 20% for head and neck oncologists, and 18% for pediatric otolaryngologists. Faculty expectations are primarily clinical, with research being least important. Conclusions Academic positions are available for the young otolaryngologist, particularly in the fields of general otolaryngology, head and neck oncology, and pediatric otolaryngology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas