Employment status of young otorhinolaryngologists in Finland during a 10-year period

Elina Penttilä, Samuli Hannula, Jura Numminen, Heikki Irjala, Tuomas Selander, Piitu Parmanne, Antti Mäkitie
International Journal of Circumpolar Health 2020, 79 (1): 1715710
We determined the employment status of recently graduated otorhinolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons (ENT doctors) in Finland during the past 10 years. We also investigated the job vacancy rate of the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (Department of ORL-HNS). An electronic questionnaire was sent to all ENT doctors who had graduated during 2007-2017 and to chief physicians of all Departments of ORL-HNS. Chi-square and Fisher's test were used in the analyses. Altogether 129 ENT doctors had graduated and 125 (96.9%) responded. Thirty (24%) physicians had been employed in a position that did not correspond to their ENT doctor training. All 30 chief physicians responded and a total of 306 physicians were working at their departments (215 ENT doctors, 91 residents). However, there were only 241 available positions (197 for ENT doctors, 44 for residents). It was estimated that 65 ENT doctors would retire within 10 years. At the moment there does not seem to be a significant shortage of ENT doctors in Finland. The current national volume of resident intake in the ENT training programme is twofold in comparison with the estimated retirement rate in the public sector.

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