Analysis of the 2015 ACR Workforce Study, published in the April 2018 issue of Arthritis Care & Research, revealed the U.S. will face a shortage of 4,000 rheumatology providers by 2030.1
Explore this issueMay 2019
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This shortage will be uneven, with rheumatology providers concentrated in urban and suburban areas, and rural areas underserved. The Central U.S., Southwest, Southeast and Northwest will, more broadly, face low provider density.
In the face of these challenges, the ACR has continued to advocate at the state and federal levels to help address the projected workforce shortfall.2 The workforce issue has four facets, says Angus Worthing, MD, FACR, FACP, chair of the ACR’s Government Affairs Committee and partner at Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates in Washington, D.C.:
- A lack of rheumatologists;
- Maldistribution of rheumatologists;
- More demand for adult rheumatology fellowship slots than are currently budgeted for and allotted in the U.S.; and
- Less demand for pediatric fellowship slots than are allotted.
The ACR is approaching these shortfalls in a number of ways, including a push to fund loan forgiveness programs for rheumatologists willing to practice in areas of need and endeavors to fund more training slots.