Age distribution of licensed physician workforce
In 2014, 12.9% of all licensed physicians were aged <35 and 14.9% were aged 65+. The largest concentration of physicians (25.4%) is in the middle age group, 45-54.
The distribution of Family Physicians across all age cohorts is nearly symmetrical, with the <35 and 65+ cohorts each comprising 13.4% of Family Physicians. As with the total physician workforce, Family Physicians aged 45-54 represent the largest single age group (26.4%) among Family Physicians.
In 2014, higher proportions of Medical and Surgical Specialists were aged 65+ (16.8% and 17.3%, respectively) compared to the total physician workforce (14.9%). Unlike the other broad specialties, Laboratory Specialists are most commonly aged 55-64, with this age group representing 29.4% of all physicians in this broad specialty.
- In 2014, the only specialties that have more physicians in the <35 age cohort than in the 65+ age cohort are among the Medical specialties; specifically, Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Radiation Oncology and Medical Genetics;
- For both Anesthesiology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the differences in the proportion of physicians who are aged <35 compared to those who are aged 65+ is less than a percentage (11.7% vs. 10.8% and 15.5% vs. 14.6% respectively);
- For Royal College Emergency Medicine specialists, the difference of those aged <35 compared to those 65+ is greater (21.5% vs. 7.5%);
- For Radiation Oncology, 13.4% of physicians are aged <35 and 6.9% are aged 65+
- Among Medical Geneticists, 14.3% are aged <35 and 11.2% are aged 65+.
- Of the 31 specialties reported, Internal Medicine is the only one where the most common age category is 65+ (22.3%).
- All of the surgical specialties have more physicians in the 65+ age group than in the <35 age group (17.3% vs. 11.9% overall).
- For every Cardiac Surgeon aged <35 there are approximately 5 aged 65+ (3.1% vs. 15.3%);
- For Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery there is roughly one licensed physician aged <35 for every two physicians aged 65+ and, as shown in the Medical Workforce Supply Overview, both have seen reductions in residency positions and new trainees;
- Ophthalmology also has twice as many physicians aged 65+ compared to those aged <35, but has seen recent increases in its number of R1 positions and new trainees (see the Medical Workforce Supply Overview).
Age distribution of licensed physician workforce (Spreadsheet)