By Richard Nelson, managing editor, April 02, 2013
Since 2007, fewer respondents have reported being in solo practice in each of the last three AAD Dermatology Practice Profile Surveys, which collect information about the nature of U.S. dermatology practice from practicing AAD member dermatologists. Soloists made up 44 percent of respondents in 2007, but the figure dropped to 40 percent in 2009, tied with those in dermatology-only group practices. Soloists dropped to 38 percent in 2012, falling behind dermatology-only groups at 39 percent.
While this trend suggests that a lone dermatologist in practice on his or her own will remain one of the dominant practice models for years to come, data from the most recent survey broken down by age group may indicate that change will come more quickly: Only 18 percent of dermatologists under 40 are in solo practice, compared to 53 percent of dermatologists over 60. A migration study would be necessary to show exactly how dermatologists move from one practice type to another during their careers, but the data suggest that groups will play a bigger role in the specialty’s future. See below for a detailed breakdown.