West Virginia (WV) has many healthcare disparities and access barriers. For bone and joint disorders, WV has some of the highest rates of musculoskeletal problems, including the highest reported rate of adult arthritis in the nation (36.2%). We hypothesized that WV has one of the lowest Orthopaedic surgeon densities in the country, which can negatively impact the delivery of musculoskeletal care. Using the WV Board of Medicine practitioner databank, the Veterans Administration practitioner data, and national Orthopaedic surgeon census data, we demonstrated a considerably low Orthopaedic surgeon density in WV (7.71/100,000 population versus the national average of 8.51/100,000 population) with 54% of our counties (n=30) having no Orthopaedic surgeons. This data is currently being used to further determine the appropriate allocation of resources to help improve access to specialized orthopaedic care for our state.
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Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chad_fisher/2/