The evolving practice patterns of academic endocrine surgeons: A cross-sectional analysis of the faculty practice solutions center database 2014 to 2017

Academic Article


  • Objective:To examine the evolution of an academic endocrine surgeon's practice over time.Summary Background:Amid growing recognition that surgical volume and specialization are linked to better outcomes, endocrine surgery is one of the youngest fields to develop its own formal fellowship training program. However, 3 decades after the emergence of endocrine surgery as a distinct specialty, the medical community and public still have a limited understanding of endocrine surgeons and what they do.Methods:We performed a cross-sectional analysis of endocrine surgeons identified in the Faculty Practice Solutions Center Database from 2014 to 2017. Trends in annual number of endocrine surgeries performed, number of all surgeries performed, total work relative value units generated, and patient payer mix stratified by years of practice were evaluated.Results:One hundred thirty-nine endocrine surgeons practicing in 103 institutions over 4 years were analyzed. The proportion of endocrine-specific operations increases over time. A typical academic endocrine surgeon meets the high-volume threshold for thyroidectomies early in their career, but does not reach the thresholds for parathyroidectomies or adrenalectomies until after 4 years. Increased productivity as reflected by adjusted work relative value units does increase over the first 15 years of practice, but also decreases as the proportion of endocrine-specific practice increases. The greatest proportion of endocrine surgeons' patients are insured by commercial plans (46%-50%), and payer mix is stable across all levels of practice.Conclusions:Although endocrine surgeons perform a high-volume of endocrine-specific operations, practice patterns are heterogeneous and suggest that most surgeons have to grow their endocrine-specific practice over time.
  • Published In

  • Annals of Surgery  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19720063
  • Author List

  • Kuo JH; Duh QY; Chen H; Lai V; Sorensen MJ; Chabot JA; Lee JA
  • Start Page

  • 1156
  • End Page

  • 1164
  • Volume

  • 271
  • Issue

  • 6