May 08, 2020

ABA Publishes Research on Anesthesiologists’ Clinical Practice Profiles

Raleigh, N.C. (May 8, 2020) – New research from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) answers the often-asked question about where and how anesthesiologists are practicing their specialized skills. Drawn from the data of more than 26,000 board-certified anesthesiologists, this research provides insight into practice patterns—like the split between community hospitals and academic medical centers.

“The information presented in this research can’t be found anywhere else,” said David O. Warner, M.D., ABA Secretary. “It addresses questions that frequently arise about the practice profiles of board-certified anesthesiologists and can inform workforce analyses.”

As participants in the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® (MOCA®) program, ABA diplomates self-report their primary facility type (e.g., community hospital) and the percentage of their clinical time spent in each of 11 practice areas (e.g., cardiac anesthesia or pain medicine). This research, published as a letter to the editor in the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia, describes the diverse practice profiles of 26,344 board-certified anesthesiologists in 2019.

Key findings include:

  • 50 percent of anesthesiologists practice primarily in community hospitals, followed by 30% primarily in academic medical centers
  • Pain clinics have the lowest number of female anesthesiologists (16%) and office-based anesthesia has the highest (46%)
  • The three most common clinical practice areas are general operative anesthesia (82%), ambulatory/outpatient anesthesia (79%) and regional anesthesia/acute pain (65%)
  • Approximately three in five physicians spend time in five or more practice areas and the majority dedicate less than 25% of their time to any one area
  • Pain medicine has the highest percentage (41%) of anesthesiologists who report spending 76% or more of their time in a single clinical area, followed by pediatric anesthesiology (7.4%)

ABA Directors Alex Macario, M.D., and Thomas McLoughlin, Jr., M.D., and ABA Director of Psychometrics and Research Huaping Sun, Ph.D. authored this research, titled, “Clinical Practice Profiles of Anesthesiologists Certified in or after the Year 2000 Participating in Maintenance of Certification in the United States.”

About the American Board of Anesthesiology
The mission of the American Board of Anesthesiology® (ABA) is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care. The Board administers initial and subspecialty certification exams as well as the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® (MOCA®), which is designed to promote lifelong learning, a commitment to quality clinical outcomes and patient safety. Based in Raleigh, N.C., the ABA is a nonprofit organization and a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

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