The United States is facing a projected physician shortage. According to a report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there could be a shortfall of between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians by the year 2030. A recent analysis projects a shortage of more than 4,400 anesthesiologists by the year 2020.

One significant component of this projected shortfall is the population of clinicians who take a temporary leave of absence from practice. It is estimated that as many as 11 percent of pediatricians take a leave from practice for six months or greater at some point during their careers. And the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers it a sufficiently frequent event that they declared re-entry as the “issue of the year” in 2012. Data are not available to estimate how many anesthesiologists...

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