Change of the guard in obstetrics and gynaecology: projected retirement to 2025

Deborah Schofield*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of the paper is to forecast retirement of the specialist obstetricians and gynaecologists in Australia to 2025. The gender and hours of work of younger and older cohorts were compared to determine the likely impacts of the transition from older to younger cohorts. The paper used the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's annual Medical Labour Force Surveys to examine trends in attrition of obstetricians and gynaecologists over the age of 45 years from the workforce and to predict their rate of retirement to 2025. The projection results show that between the years 2000 and 2025, 59% of the obstetricians and gynaecologists would retire. The rising proportion of women in obstetrics and gynaecology and shorter working hours of both men and women will have a compounding effect on physician retirement. The paper concludes that the changes in practice, increasing feminisation and retirement from the workforce coupled with higher female population growth in the childbearing years and slightly higher fertility mean that ensuring an adequate obstetricians and gynaecologists in Australia will be a significant challenge over the next 20 years. There is the potential for shortages in obstetric care with particular risks for rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalCahiers de sociologie et de démographie médicales
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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