A look at the gynecologic oncologist workforce – Are we meeting patient demand?

Sarah A. Ackroyd, Ya Chen Tina Shih, Bumyang Kim, Nita K. Lee, Michael T. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: to examine the geographic distribution of gynecologic oncologists (GO) and assess if the GO workforce is meeting the demand for oncology services for patients with gynecologic cancers. Methods: We identified GO by National Provider Identifiers (NPI) and calculated county-level density of GO. County-level gynecologic cancer rates were derived from the U.S. Cancer Statistics to represent demand for GO services. A spatial data plot compared GO workforce to gynecologic cancer service demand. U.S. census county-level demographic information was collected and compared. Results: In 2019, 1527 GO had a registered NPI. Of 3142 counties in the US, 2864 (91.2%) counties had no GO in their local county and 1943 (61.8%) counties had no GO in local or adjacent (neighboring) counties. As the gynecologic cancer rate increases (described in quintiles) in counties, there are fewer counties without a GO or adjacent GO. However, county-level GO density (number of GO per 100,000 women) did not significantly increase as the county-level incidence of gynecologic cancer increased (r = −0.12, p = 0.06)… Women living in counties with the highest gynecologic cancer rates and without access to a GO were more likely to reside in a rural area where residents had a lower median income and were predominately of White race. Conclusion: There are a significant number of counties in the U.S. without a GO. As county-level gynecologic cancer incidence increased, the proportion of counties without a GO decreased; GO density did not increase with increasing cancer rates. Rural counties with high gynecologic incidence rates are underserved by GO. This information can inform initiatives to improve outreach and collaboration to better meet the needs of patients in different geographic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Cancer care delivery
  • Geographic disparities
  • Gynecologic oncologist workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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