The Emergency Medicine Workforce

Profile and Projections

Mark Reiter, Leana S. Wen, Brady W. Allen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background The landscape of the emergency medicine workforce has changed dramatically over the last few decades. The growth in emergency medicine residency programs has significantly increased the number of emergency medicine specialists now staffing emergency departments (EDs) throughout the country. Despite this increase in available providers, rising patient volumes, an aging population, ED overcrowding and inefficiency, increased regulation, and other factors have resulted in the continued need for additional emergency physicians. Objectives To review current available data on patient volumes and characteristics, the overall physician workforce, the current emergency physician workforce, the impact of physician extenders and scribes on the practice of emergency medicine, and project emergency physician staffing needs into the future. Discussion and Projections We project that within the next 5 to 10 years, there will be enough board-certified or -eligible emergency physicians to provide care to all patients in the U.S. EDs. However, low-volume rural EDs will continue to have difficulty attracting emergency medicine specialists without significant incentives. Conclusions There remains a shortage of board-certified emergency physicians, but it is decreasing every year. The use of physicians from other specialties to staff EDs has long been based on the theory that there is a long-standing shortage of available American Board of Emergency Medicine/American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine physicians, both now and in the future. Our investigation shows that this is not supported by current data. Although there will always be regional and rural physician shortages, these are mirrored by all other specialties and are even more pressing in primary care.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)690-693
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
    Volume50
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

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    Emergency Medicine
    Physicians
    Hospital Emergency Service
    Emergencies
    Physician Assistants
    Internship and Residency
    Motivation
    Primary Health Care

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Emergency Medicine

    Cite this

    The Emergency Medicine Workforce : Profile and Projections. / Reiter, Mark; Wen, Leana S.; Allen, Brady W.

    In: Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 50, No. 4, 01.04.2016, p. 690-693.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Reiter, Mark ; Wen, Leana S. ; Allen, Brady W. / The Emergency Medicine Workforce : Profile and Projections. In: Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2016 ; Vol. 50, No. 4. pp. 690-693.
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