Navigation Links
Heart Surgeon Shortage Predicted
Date:7/28/2009

Trend toward stenting rather than bypass could be a cause, expert says,,,,

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Over the next 15 years, there could be a severe shortage of cardiothoracic surgeons at a time when an aging population will probably increase the demand for surgical procedures that fall under their purview, a new study predicts.

The shortage could lead to diminished quality of care and delays in care for people needing heart and lung surgery, according to the study, which was done by the Center for Workforce Studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

By 2025, the researchers say, there could be a 46 percent increase in the demand for cardiothoracic surgeons, but a drop of at least 21 percent in the number of available surgeons.

The looming shortage of surgeons is a matter of supply and demand, said lead researcher Dr. Atul Grover, director of government relations for the association.

"We have not managed to keep up with population growth over the last two decades, so our physician production has stagnated to a point where the number of new entrants into the physician workforce is not going to be enough to keep up with the number of folks retiring," Grover said.

On the demand side, he said, the number of people over age 65 is expected to double in the next 20 years, from 35 million to more than 70 million.

"Those are the people who use the greatest number of health services," Grover said. "Those are the ones with cardiac disease. Those are the ones with pulmonary disease. And those Medicare beneficiaries are the ones who are really going to suffer without an adequate physician workforce."

The conclusions stem from the researchers' analysis of general population data as well as health-care workplace information, using various scenarios to predict what could happen. Their findings are published online July 27 in Circulation.

The number of active cardiothoracic surgeons has fallen for the first time in 20 years, according to the report.

In 2007, 33 percent of thoracic surgery fellowship positions went unfilled, the researchers reported. In addition, they said that residents in training in cardiothoracic surgery were having difficulty finding employment after completing five years of general surgery training and two years of a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship.

They speculated that this could be, at least in part, the result of a decrease in the number of people having heart bypass surgery, which is the most frequent operation done by cardiothoracic surgeons. The number of heart bypass surgeries fell 28 percent between 1997 and 2004, the study reported.

But over the same period, the use of stents increased 121 percent, it said. That procedure is usually done by cardiologists, not cardiothoracic surgeons.

"As we get better at identifying cardiac and pulmonary diseases earlier on and have better treatments for those diseases, you want to make sure you are adequately able to ... have the most qualified professionals treating those patients," Grover said.

Even if the number of people entering the cardiothoracic field were to increase, he said, there still would be a shortage in coming decades because of the expected increase in the over-65 population and the fact that it takes 10 years to train a cardiothoracic surgeon.

This shortage could result in significant waiting times before people get needed surgery and possibly in unnecessary complications and deaths, he said.

The expected shortage of surgeons comes at a time when cardiologists could also be in short supply, the study reported.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that a shortage of cardiothoracic surgeons could, indeed, create problems.

"The findings that the number of active cardiothoracic surgeons has fallen for the first time in 20 years and projections that demand for cardiothoracic surgeons will greatly exceed supply are of great concern," Fonarow said.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States and is likely to remain so in coming decades, he said.

"Having well-trained and experienced cardiothoracic surgeons is essential for providing high-quality care and achieving good outcomes for cardiovascular patients that require surgical procedures," Fonarow said. "Health-care reform efforts need to ensure that there will be adequate funding and resources to provide this critical training, meet patient care needs and sustain the practices of cardiothoracic surgeons."

However, not everyone agrees.

"I think it is unnecessary to worry about a doomsday when we don't have enough cardiac surgeons," said Dr. Byron Lee, an associate professor of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

"The recent decline in cardiac surgeons is expected since more patients are appropriately getting stents instead of bypass operations," Lee said. "If the need for cardiac surgery increases in the future, I would expect market forces to lead to the training of more cardiac surgeons."

More information

The American Heart Association has more on bypass surgery.



SOURCES: Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., director, government relations, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C.; Gregg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Byron Lee, M.D., associate professor, cardiology, University of California, San Francisco; July 27, 2009, Circulation, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Sunshine Heart Provides C-Pulse U.S. Clinical Update
2. High Calcium Level in Arteries May Signal Serious Heart Attack Risk
3. High calcium level in arteries may signal serious heart attack risk
4. Many Heart Attack Patients Not Referred to Cardiac Rehab
5. Southern California Surgical Center (heart411.com) Specializes in Mitral Valve Replacement
6. Heartland Information Services Again Improves in Customer Satisfaction
7. H1N1 Swine Flu Leads to Cancellation of HIV/AIDS Summer Camp. One Heartland Announces Campaign to Fund Alternative Camp Session for 82 Children.
8. Agent Orange Linked to Parkinsons, Heart Disease
9. Vietnam Veterans of America to VA: Dont Wait for Us to Die: Grant Association to Agent Orange Exposure for Parkinsons, Heart Disease, Hypertension
10. Study in this Week's Issue of Cell Finds Injected Growth Factor Spurs Heart Regeneration
11. Injection May Heal Damaged Heart
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Heart Surgeon Shortage Predicted
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... The Wharton School of ... Julie Taffet Moelis, W’81, have made a $10 million gift to establish the ... that will provide a pathway to a Wharton MBA for highly-qualified Penn undergraduates whose ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... VisualSP has helped over 1.5 ... the only option for on-premises installation of its Help System for SharePoint was at ... the system into the entire tenant. , The company recently released a modified ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Tuesday, March 28, 2017, ... public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at ... World Airports will light up the evening sky by programming the LAX pylons the ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... their breakthrough development, NTX Technology™, is the first technology to directly address the ... World Health Organization. NTX Technology™ is a patented compound of FDA and TTB ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Resoundant, Inc., the developer of Magnetic ... annual customer education symposium, a world-class learning conference that offers educational content designed ... 31, 2017 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. , Innovations for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - StarFish Medical, ... development firm, announced today that it has merged with ... medical device industrial design and productization organization.  The resulting ... North America with easier east coast ... the design, engineering, regulatory, and manufacturing process. ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... BOSTON , March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... today announced a partnership with premium news ... allows pharmaceutical companies to extract key insights from ... text mining technology. The Linguamatics I2E ... top 20 global pharmaceutical companies. The Linguamatics-Dow Jones ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 Emosis SAS, ... new business entity, Emosis Ltd, headquartered in Tel Aviv ... novel assays complementing the mother company existing technology platform and test ... sales development of Emosis kits. ... This strategic move starts building Emosis international footprint. Emosis ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: