The China rheumatology workforce: a status report

Int J Rheum Dis. 2009 Dec;12(4):279-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-185X.2009.01439.x.


This article aims to provide an accurate database of the rheumatology workforce in mainland China. A face-to-face survey was conducted in 2007 using a custom-designed questionnaire that included demographic information, educational background, training history, professional rank, years of working experience within the specialty, and workload. Potential rheumatology practitioners were identified by provincial rheumatology associations. The survey identified a total of 2216 rheumatologists. Seventy percent of the entire workforce had < or = 10 years of working experience. The number of male and female rheumatologists was equal, at ages of 41 years and above. At < or = 40 years of age, female rheumatologists predominated at 63%. The national rheumatologist density was 1.67 per million population. The rheumatology workforce in China is relatively young, indicating a rapid expansion. However, the supply of rheumatologists is still significantly below the demand level.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data
  • China
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians* / statistics & numerical data
  • Rheumatology* / statistics & numerical data
  • Societies, Medical
  • Specialization* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data