The purpose of our study is to determine whether the current level of transplant fellow training is sufficient to meet the future demand for liver transplantation in the United States. Historical data from the Nationwide Inpatient Samples (NIS) for the years 1998 through 2003 were used to construct an estimate of the annual number of liver transplant procedures currently being performed in the United States, and the number projected for each year through 2020. Estimates for the current and future number of surgeons performing liver transplant procedures were also constructed using the same database. The NIS database was used because current national transplant registries do not include information on the number of surgeons performing liver transplant procedures. Using historical data derived from the NIS database, we project that the estimated number of liver transplant procedures per surgeon will remain relatively stable through 2020, with each surgeon performing an average of 12.9 procedures in 2020 compared to 12.9 currently. We conclude that the relationship between demand for liver transplantation in the United States and the supply of liver transplant surgeons will remain stable over the next 15 years.
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