NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
March 20, 2007 • Volume 4 / Number 12 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Study Forecasts Major Oncologist Shortage by 2020

A Message to Our Readers >

An estimated doubling of the number of people over age 65 over the next two decades and simultaneous in-creases in cancer incidence, prevalence, and survivorship are expected to create a situation where the number of cancer patients far outstrips the number of oncologists available to treat them, according to a new report released last week.

Developed for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the report estimates that by 2020 visits to oncologists will increase by 48 percent, while the projected supply of oncologists is expected to grow by only 14 percent over the same time period. The result: A shortfall of 9.4 to 15.1 million visits annually. Read more  

Director's Update

Guest Update by Dr. Martin Brown

Dr. Martin Brown, Chief, Health Services and Economics Branch, DCCPS NCI Surveillance Program Helped Project Oncologist Shortage

The leadership of ASCO should be commended for sponsoring the AAMC report on the U.S. oncology work force. The conclusions they reach are clearly concerning: A potential shortage of 2,550 to 4,080 oncologists in the United States by 2020. In many respects, the fact that a shortage is being projected is not surprising. We have known for some time that the population is aging and that, as a result, cancer incidence and prevalence are likely to increase. Using data from SEER and the SEER-Medicare Linked Database, NCI was able to generate specific projections of cancer prevalence and of the demand for oncology services through 2020. These data, combined with information on medical school graduation rates and reports from other specialty medicine groups about work force availability, raise concerns that there may be a shortage of oncologists over the next two decades. Read more  


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