Study by Arif Kamal shows shortage of palliative care clinicians will increase over growing demand for services
Arif Kamal, MD, MHS is a 2015 CRTP Graduate
Evan Myers, MD is CRTP Faculty and Course Director for
CRP 259 Decision Sciences in Clinical Research
A study led by Dr. Arif Kamal published in Health Affaires found that without policy changes there will be an increasing shortage of palliative care clinicians to care for people living with serious illness or dealing with end-of-life situations. Using recent data from a 2018 survey of palliative care and hospice clinicians, researchers modeled risk factors associated with clinicians leaving the field early and projected workforce numbers in the field for 2019 to 2059 under four scenarios.
The study found that almost half of clinicians are 56 years or older and a third reported burn out with a likely outcome of a significant projected rise in retirements within the next 10 years. Coupled with an aging population and a growing demand for services, this shortage must be addressed. The researchers recommend passage of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, which would fund development of physician leaders through palliative care academic career development awards and increasing the number of fellowship positions could begin to address this need.
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