Minding the Gap: An Opportunity for Physician Assistants to Affect the Rheumatology Workforce Shortage
AAPA ePoster library. Smith B. 05/17/17; 180536; 195
Dr. Benjamin J. Smith
Dr. Benjamin J. Smith
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Abstract
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Purpose: There are many anticipated challenges now and in the near future to train and sustain a robust workforce of rheumatology specialists. In 2005, the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals workforce study (ACR/ARHP WFS) documented a shortfall of rheumatologists expected in the U.S. over the next 20 years. In response to the WFS findings, potential solutions were suggested: improve practice efficiency, increase rheumatology physician fellowships and increase the utilization of physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in rheumatology practice. Efforts were made to implement these recommendations. In 2015, additional key variables affecting the rheumatology workforce included a growing predominance of millennials and an increasing female gender shift in the workforce. The 2015 ACR/ARHP WFS describes the current rheumatology workforce, including the role of PAs and NPs. Description: The ACR/ARHP Workforce Study Group (WSG) included academic and private practice rheumatologists, an adult rheumatology PA, a pediatric rheumatology nurse practitioner, expert workforce consultants and ACR staff. The 2015 ACR/ARHP WFS was completed using several primary and secondary data sources. Primary data sources included surveying current rheumatology health professionals, including PAs, patients with rheumatic disease, and focus groups with select stakeholders who augmented primary data collection obtained through the survey. The web-based survey collected information on demographics, work settings, practice patterns, and retirement planning. Secondary data sources included the ACR member database, state licensure registries, the 2005 ACR workforce study, professional organizations, and other medical literature. Results: Table 1 displays the estimated current rheumatology workforce, which demonstrates the low numbers of PAs within the specialty. Currently, approximately 41% of adult rheumatologists and 68% of pediatric rheumatologists are female, with a projected increase to 57% in adult rheumatology and remaining stable at 68% for pediatric rheumatology by 2030. According to a 2015 AMA report, female physicians work 7 fewer hours each week on average, seeing approximately 30% fewer patients than their male counterparts. Additionally, millennial physicians see 5% fewer patients now than their counterparts in 2005. As more millennials enter the workforce, the number of patients seen by phy...
Purpose: There are many anticipated challenges now and in the near future to train and sustain a robust workforce of rheumatology specialists. In 2005, the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals workforce study (ACR/ARHP WFS) documented a shortfall of rheumatologists expected in the U.S. over the next 20 years. In response to the WFS findings, potential solutions were suggested: improve practice efficiency, increase rheumatology physician fellowships and increase the utilization of physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in rheumatology practice. Efforts were made to implement these recommendations. In 2015, additional key variables affecting the rheumatology workforce included a growing predominance of millennials and an increasing female gender shift in the workforce. The 2015 ACR/ARHP WFS describes the current rheumatology workforce, including the role of PAs and NPs. Description: The ACR/ARHP Workforce Study Group (WSG) included academic and private practice rheumatologists, an adult rheumatology PA, a pediatric rheumatology nurse practitioner, expert workforce consultants and ACR staff. The 2015 ACR/ARHP WFS was completed using several primary and secondary data sources. Primary data sources included surveying current rheumatology health professionals, including PAs, patients with rheumatic disease, and focus groups with select stakeholders who augmented primary data collection obtained through the survey. The web-based survey collected information on demographics, work settings, practice patterns, and retirement planning. Secondary data sources included the ACR member database, state licensure registries, the 2005 ACR workforce study, professional organizations, and other medical literature. Results: Table 1 displays the estimated current rheumatology workforce, which demonstrates the low numbers of PAs within the specialty. Currently, approximately 41% of adult rheumatologists and 68% of pediatric rheumatologists are female, with a projected increase to 57% in adult rheumatology and remaining stable at 68% for pediatric rheumatology by 2030. According to a 2015 AMA report, female physicians work 7 fewer hours each week on average, seeing approximately 30% fewer patients than their male counterparts. Additionally, millennial physicians see 5% fewer patients now than their counterparts in 2005. As more millennials enter the workforce, the number of patients seen by phy...
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