Cardiothoracic Surgeons May Not Meet 2035 Caseload

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Cardiothoracic Surgeons May Not Meet 2035 Caseload
Cardiothoracic Surgeons May Not Meet 2035 Caseload

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- It is anticipated that current and projected numbers of cardiothoracic surgeons will be unable to provide adequate caseload coverage by 2035, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, held from May 14 to 18 in Baltimore.

Susan Moffatt-Bruce, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues used data from the American Board of Thoracic Surgery to assess the ability to meet the cardiothoracic service requirements for 2035. They estimated the number of cases for 2035, based on Census Bureau figures for 2010 and projections for 2035; to calculate the caseloads, they multiplied the cases in 2010 by the anticipated increase in population.

The researchers note that surgeons performed more than 530,000 cases in 2010. By 2035, they estimated that there would be 853,947 cases, representing a 61 percent increase nationally. In 2010, the cases per surgeon averaged 135 for about 4,000 surgeons. In 2035, the anticipated caseload per surgeon is 299, representing a 121 percent increase per surgeon. This is not matched by the number of surgeons currently being trained and certified each year.

"We predict that there will be an inability to provide cardiothoracic services in 2035 due to the shortage of surgeons and an unknown but increasing caseload," Moffatt-Bruce said in a statement.

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