Advertisement
The Cardiology Workforce Supply

The Cardiology Workforce Supply

Previous workforce estimates implied that inadequate numbers of cardiologists were being trained to meet the needs of an expanding and older population of Americans. “There has been deep concern that a projected shortage in the cardiologist workforce could impact the care of patients with heart disease,” explains Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC. “More recently, however, these forecasts have been called into question. Healthcare systems have shifted from volume-based care to value-based care. Both invasive and non-invasive procedural volumes have declined, as have the associated reimbursements. These trends have placed additional stress on providers and limited the hiring of newly graduating fellows, especially in geographically desirable locations.” A Multifaceted Problem Several factors are influencing the supply of cardiologists, including the aging and increasing population, the cost and duration of training, scientific advances, and the effects of the Affordable Care Act. There are also gender and racial/ethnic gaps in the cardiology workforce and geographic variations throughout the United States. Many cardiologists are practicing in major metropolitan areas, but there are fewer practicing in smaller towns and rural areas. “Many hospitals are rethinking how many cardiologists they need on staff, especially as they see their procedural volumes fall,” says Dr. O’Gara. “There is no longer the lack of invasively trained cardiologists as previously feared. It’s becoming more difficult for newly trained cardiologists to find attractive jobs. In addition, cardiologists are not retiring as rapidly as predicted.” Collaboration Needed to Find Solutions These problems affect all of cardiovascular medicine and are not easy to fix, according to Dr. O’Gara. “As a community, we need to ask where we’re going with the current training...
[ HIDE/SHOW ]