Dermatopathology workforce in the United States: A survey

Pitiporn Suwattee, Peter M.H. Cham, Mahsa Abdollahi, Erin M Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Although several studies have documented an undersupply of dermatologic services in the United States, little is known about the dermatopathology workforce. Objective: Objectives included the following: (1) describe the dermatopathology workforce in the United States; (2) identify characteristics associated with academic dermatopathologists; and (3) explore issues surrounding dermatopathology training. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of all Fellows of the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP) practicing in the United States and its territories. Results: Of 913 ASDP Fellows, 437 (48%) returned a completed questionnaire. Most were male (72%), Caucasian (85%), and had graduated from US/Canadian medical schools (88%). Approximately half (49%) had completed a dermatology residency and a quarter (24%) were in academia. As compared with those in private practice, academic dermatopathologists were more likely to be female (P =.0028), have a medical degree only (P =.0197), and earn $300,000 or less annually (P <.0001). No associations were identified for practice type with either location of medical school (United States/Canada vs other) or year of fellowship graduation (≤1996 vs ≥1997). Although most respondents were satisfied overall with their training, the most common areas identified as inadequate included: coding/billing (47%), biostatistics (38%), pediatric clinical dermatology (27%), and electron microscopy (27%). Limitations: Moderate response rate and potential recall bias are limitations. Conclusions: This study of the US dermatopathology workforce provides benchmarks for future studies and strategies for workforce planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1185
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported, in part, by a grant from the Association of Professors of Dermatology .

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • dermatopathology
  • survey
  • workforce


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