The Global Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Workforce

Beatriz Petrucci, Samuel Okerosi, Rolvix H. Patterson, Sara B. Hobday, Valerie Salano, Christopher J. Waterworth, Robert M. Brody, Holly Sprow, Blake C. Alkire, Johannes J. Fagan, Sharon Ovnat Tamir, Carolina Der, Mahmood F. Bhutta, Ivy W. Maina, Jonathan C. Pang, Davina Daudu, Allan G. Mukuzi, Tarika Srinivasan, Carolina A. Pietrobon, Sheng Po HaoDoreen Nakku, Amina Seguya, Taseer F. Din, Olga Djoutsop Mbougo, Lilian W. Mokoh, Farizeh Jashek-Ahmed, Tyler J. Law, Elizabeth A. Holt, Ali Haider Bangesh, Yilkal Zemene, Titus S. Ibekwe, Oumar Raphiou Diallo, Wakisa K. Mulwafu, John E. Fenton, Adrian M. Agius, Pavel Doležal, Édouard Amani Mudekereza, Karen M. Mojica, Ricardo Silva Rueda, Mary Jue Xu, Jacqueline Alvarado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: A core component of delivering care of head and neck diseases is an adequate workforce. The World Health Organization report, Multi-Country Assessment of National Capacity to Provide Hearing Care, captured primary workforce estimates from 68 member states in 2012, noting that response rates were a limitation and that updated more comprehensive data are needed. Objective: To establish comprehensive workforce metrics for global otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) with updated data from more countries/territories. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional electronic survey characterizing the OHNS workforce was disseminated from February 10 to June 22, 2022, to professional society leaders, medical licensing boards, public health officials, and practicing OHNS clinicians. Main Outcome: The OHNS workforce per capita, stratified by income and region. Results: Responses were collected from 121 of 195 countries/territories (62%). Survey responses specifically reported on OHNS workforce from 114 countries/territories representing 84% of the world's population. The global OHNS clinician density was 2.19 (range, 0-61.7) OHNS clinicians per 100000 population. The OHNS clinician density varied by World Bank income group with higher-income countries associated with a higher density of clinicians. Regionally, Europe had the highest clinician density (5.70 clinicians per 100000 population) whereas Africa (0.18 clinicians per 100000 population) and Southeast Asia (1.12 clinicians per 100000 population) had the lowest. The OHNS clinicians deliver most of the surgical management of ear diseases and hearing care, rhinologic and sinus diseases, laryngeal disorders, and upper aerodigestive mucosal cancer globally. Conclusion and Relevance: This cross-sectional survey study provides a comprehensive assessment of the global OHNS workforce. These results can guide focused investment in training and policy development to address disparities in the availability of OHNS clinicians..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2023


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