Shortage of Cardiothoracic Surgeons Predicted in 2035

With the Baby Boomers entering their seventh decade, the trend towards geriatric care should be escalating. In cardiothoracic surgery, however, the opposite holds true. A recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) presentation noted the trend towards an aging population is not the only disparity: fewer residents are choosing cardiothoracic surgery as a specialty, fewer doctors are passing their exam boards, and not as many American Board of Thoracic Surgery certificates are being awarded. Medicomp, the ambulatory cardiac monitor professionals, would like to share the following statistics pertaining to the future of cardiothoracic care.

  • By 2035, the current caseload of cardiothoracic surgeons must increase by 121% to meet the influx of patients who need care.
  • Using U.S. Census data and comparing those numbers to the Society of Thoracic Surgery data, investigators noted that approximately 4,000 cardiothoracic surgeons were practicing in 2010. These surgeons performed 530,000 surgeries.
  • Projected statistics show that by 2030, the amount of cardiothoracic surgeons will have dropped to 3,000 due to retirement of existing surgeons and lack of new surgeons to replace them. These 3,000 surgeons will be responsible for 854,000 separate cases. This represents a 61% increase in the sheer number of cases.
  • The investigators posit a 54% increase in cardiac surgery cases, a 64% increase in esophageal cancer cases, and a 70% increase in lung cancer cases.
  • While surgical caseloads increased for surgeries across the board, the greatest influx of cases existed for the cardiothoracic field. The current caseload of 135 per year would increase to 299, which many believe is unfeasible.
  • Susan Moffat-Bruce, MD, PhD, MBA, of the Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center stated, “This is a sign of a problem that must be addressed now. We do not have the liberty to wait.”

Medicomp’s line of ambulatory cardiac monitors have the ability to assist patients when they initially show signs of cardiac difficulty, and they have been proven to be beneficial post-surgery to remotely monitor heart rhythm and detect any anomalies. Call Medicomp at 800-23-HEART (800-234-3278) to learn how our portable event recorders can decrease your growing caseload while keeping your patients healthier.

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