Nevin Manimala Statistics

Mapping the geographic migration of United States neurosurgeons across training and current practice regions: associations with academic productivity

J Neurosurg. 2023 Mar 17:1-11. doi: 10.3171/2023.1.JNS222269. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Characterizing changes in the geographic distribution of neurosurgeons in the United States (US) may inform efforts to provide a more equitable distribution of neurosurgical care. Herein, the authors performed a comprehensive analysis of the geographic movement and distribution of the neurosurgical workforce.

METHODS: A list containing all board-certified neurosurgeons practicing in the US in 2019 was obtained from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons membership database. Chi-square analysis and a post hoc comparison with Bonferroni correction were performed to assess differences in demographics and geographic movement throughout neurosurgeon careers. Three multinomial logistic regression models were performed to further evaluate relationships among training location, current practice location, neurosurgeon characteristics, and academic productivity.

RESULTS: The study cohort included 4075 (3830 male, 245 female) neurosurgeons practicing in the US. Seven hundred eighty-one neurosurgeons practice in the Northeast, 810 in the Midwest, 1562 in the South, 906 in the West, and 16 in a US territory. States with the lowest density of neurosurgeons included Vermont and Rhode Island in the Northeast; Arkansas, Hawaii, and Wyoming in the West; North Dakota in the Midwest; and Delaware in the South. Overall, the effect size, as measured by Cramér’s V statistic, between training stage and training region is relatively modest at 0.27 (1.0 is complete dependence); this finding was reflected in the similarly modest pseudo R2 values of the multinomial logit models, which ranged from 0.197 to 0.246. Multinomial logistic regression with L1 regularization revealed significant associations between current practice region and residency region, medical school region, age, academic status, sex, or race (p < 0.05). On subanalysis of the academic neurosurgeons, the region of residency training correlated with an advanced degree type in the overall neurosurgeon cohort, with more neurosurgeons than expected holding Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in the West (p = 0.021).

CONCLUSIONS: Female neurosurgeons were less likely to practice in the South, and neurosurgeons in the South and West had reduced odds of holding academic rather than private positions. The Northeast was the most likely region to contain neurosurgeons who had completed their training in the same locality, particularly among academic neurosurgeons who did their residency in the Northeast.

PMID:36933250 | DOI:10.3171/2023.1.JNS222269

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