December 2000 Bulletin

BONES survey discloses use of staff professionals

Radiological technologists are employed by 69.7 percent of orthopaedic practices; registered nurses, 48.9 percent of practices; and physician assistants, 43.6 percent, according to a survey by the BONES Society.

Occupational therapists, hand therapists and nurse practitioners are the health professional categories that are least employed–7.9 percent, 7.9 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively.

BONES asked practices if they employed a registered nurse, physician assistant, orthopaedic physician assistant, hand therapist, surgical assistant, occupational therapist, radiological technologist, physical therapist, orthopaedic technologist or other.

The survey found orthopaedic practices with more than 10 orthopaedic surgeons employ, on average, personnel from 4.6 health professionals, while practices with one orthopaedist employ the least–1.8 health professionals. Practices with 2 or 3 orthopaedic surgeons employ, on average, 2.4 health professionals; 4 or 5 orthopaedists, 2.6 health professionals; and 6 to 10 orthopaedists, 3.45 health professionals.

Registered nurses are most likely to be employed in the East South Central census region (63.6 percent), the West North Central (63.3 percent) and the East North Central (61.9 percent) regions. They are least likely to be employed by orthopaedic groups in the New England (35.1 percent) and Mountain (36.7 percent) regions.

The median number of full-time employees (FTE) per orthopaedic surgeon was 4.9, according to responses from 620 practices. For solo practitioners, the median was 5 FTEs. In practices of 2 to 3 and 4 to 5 orthopaedists, the median number of FTEs per orthopaedist was 4.3. Practices with 6 to 10 orthopaedists, had 5.1 FTE per orthopaedist and practices with more than 10 orthopaedists, 6.1 FTEs.

The 2000 Practice Profile, Compensation, and Benefits Survey by BONES, the national organization of orthopaedic practice administrators, can be obtained by calling (800) 247-9699 or e-mail

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