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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


ALONSO, M.I.. Management of allocation of positions for specialist medical training. Gac Sanit [online]. 2003, vol.17, n.4, pp.289-295. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: Currently there is a large imbalance between supply and demand for medical specialists in the Spanish Health System. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the possible effects of current policies of allocating vacancies for interns and residents as well as to describe several measures and alternative policies. Methods: Using the methodology of System Dynamics, we designed a simulation model of the allocation process. Based on the validated model, possible changes in the system through time in response to diverse allocation policies were simulated. Specifically, changes in the accumulated number of graduates who over the years have remained without specialty, the number of unemployed specialists, and the imbalance between supply and demand in the period under consideration were observed. Results: The results obtained from the simulation indicate that allocation policies such as the current one tends to reduce the accumulated number of graduates without specialty, due to the philosophy characterizing this policy, but that it considerably increases the number of unemployed specialists and aggravates the supply-demand imbalance. In the simulation, this tendency remained over time even though more restrictive measures in numerus clausus and retirement age were adopted. Equally, a policy based on social needs and aware of delays in training would substantially contribute to eliminating unemployment among specialists and supply-demand imbalance over time. If such a policy were combined with the above-mentioned measures the results would be even better, more rapidly eliminating graduates without specialty, unemployed specialists, and supply-demand imbalances. Conclusions: If the Health Administration continues with the current system of allocation of places, the present imbalance in supply and demand will become even worse. Therefore, new and far-sighted measures and policies are required, as well as greater coordination between undergraduate and postgraduate training.

Palabras clave : Interns and residents; System Dynamics; Simulation.

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