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Hawai'i Physician Workforce Assessment 2016: Improvement in Physician Numbers but Physician Suicides of Concern

Hawai'i Physician Workforce Assessment 2016: Improvement in Physician Numbers but Physician Suicides of Concern

Hawai'i Journal of Medicine and Public Health 76(3 Suppl 1): 3-9

Hawai'i's Physician Workforce Assessment project was launched in 2010. Over the past 5 years the State has experienced decreases and increases in physician workforce. This current article describes the status of the physician workforce, past trends and anticipated projections as well as recent insights into why people leave Hawai'i. Survey data, internet searches and direct dialing methodologies were utilized to clarify and elucidate practice location, full time equivalency of time providing patient care and specialty of non-military physicians caring for Hawai'i's population. A proprietary microsimulation modeling methodology from the company the US Health Resources and Services Administration employs is utilized to assess demand. The current shortage of physicians is estimated to be between 455 and 707 full time equivalents with the greatest percentage of shortages on neighbor islands. Numerically the greatest total shortage of physicians is on O'ahu and the specialty in greatest demand is primary care with a shortage of 228 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs). Physician average age in Hawai'i is 54.9 compared to a national average of 51. There was an increase in the number of physicians who report using telehealth, from 2% to 15%. Initial improvements in the size of Hawai'i's physician workforce are promising, but we note two reported suicides in the intervening year. More attention must be paid to support practicing physicians in addition to our efforts to recruit new physicians.

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Accession: 059786316

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PMID: 28435751

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