Dermatology - Supply and Demand

Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons and dermatologic surgeons have expertise in skin cancer evaluation and treatment, destruction and excision of benign, premalignant and malignant skin lesions, nail surgery, and cancer of the skin evaluation and treatment using Mohs micrographic surgery and facial reconstruction.

The current demand for dermatologists far exceeds the supply. Dermatologists see females and males in relatively equal numbers and find out all age groups, but the vast majority of dermatology visits come from patients aged 10-55 and 65 . Because of the epidemic of skin cancer (over one million cases per year) and the aging population, dermatologists are in very good demand with all the average wait of 6-8 weeks to discover one. Nationally, the ratio of dermatologists to patients is around 1: 33,000, but this is certainly better inside the rural areas. These ratios are already similar for a lot of decades.

Since it is hard to develop new dermatology training programs and considering that several dermatology residencies have folded in recent years, it truly is nearly impossible to raise the numbers of dermatologists in almost any reasonable time period. Recently some dermatologists are that specializes in cosmetics, thus not treating skin cancers or providing medical dermatology. Also around 65% of dermatologists are over 54 yrs old and will also be retiring soon, thus contributing to the shortage. Because dermatology is currently one of the top three best specialties in medicine, you will find hardly any foreign medical students which can enter residency training programs like is the case for internal medicine or family practice programs. The relatively high portion of females entering the dermatology work-force at lower than full time positions also limit the number of patients can be seen. Each one of these factors continues to make sure the necessity forever dermatologists for many years.

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Healthcare reform is of mild concern to dermatologists as it may mean cuts to Medicare reimbursement, but given that it may be changed at each new Presidential administration and because of the fairly recent abysmal failure with the HMO experiment, the likelihood that patients will tolerate inferior coverage/care and better insurance charges, is low.

Mohs surgeons can also be in high demand specifically in the rural areas. Like many specialists, Mohs surgeons do concentrate in large urban centers, but there are many Mohs Surgeons that serve rural areas and also have very busy practices. Considering the epidemic of cancer of the skin, the better cure rates, as well as the cost-effectiveness of Mohs Micrographic surgery, it will remain the gold standard for non-melanoma cancer of the skin treatment on the head and neck together with other body sites that demand tissue preservation.