All of us face challenges in achieving our goal, and we must work together to address several significant issues, including the need to bring science into all aspects of care, the impending shortage of oncologists, the increased costs of care, and the imperative need to foster the development of new cancer specialists. ASCO represents oncologists who work in a wide range of settings and subspecialties. However, in reality, we are all part of one oncology community, focused on a shared goal of enhancing care for individuals with cancer.

Enhancing practice productivity may help us address another crucial issue: a projected shortage of oncologists in the coming years. The findings of the ASCO Oncology Workforce Study indicate that by the year 2020, the demand for oncology services will increase by 48%, while the supply of services provided by oncologists will increase by only 14%.1 ASCO established the Workforce Implementation Group, a group of 21 members with expertise in clinical practice, cancer education, research, and oncology training. The group, led by Michael Goldstein, MD, and Dean Bajorin, MD, is charged with developing recommendations to address the projected shortfall.

As we close out the year, I look forward with you to the wealth of ASCO educational opportunities in 2008. Let us commit ourselves to working together as a single oncology community to meet the challenge of helping our patients obtain the best possible cancer care.