EM Workforce

 

 

 

 

ACEP released Emergency Medicine Physician Workforce: Projections for 2030. This is a research report reflecting evidence-based data that shows how our specialty is facing an oversupply of emergency physicians in the next decade.

The report provides the first thorough validation of the trends that have been seen in recent years. The report is currently in publication review and will be linked here once published. You can watch the webinar outlining the report, or download a PDF of the presentation.

Working together to make data-driven decisions that help inform the next steps the specialty takes to mitigate current and anticipated impacts to emergency medicine.

Background

The findings from the research were revealed after two years of collaboration and are critical to identifying and understanding the challenges we now face, with regards to the supply and demand of emergency medicine, in order to determine a data-driven, forward-looking approach to protect and evolve our specialty.

We do not yet have all the solutions to address market-driven industry instability, but we will make the most of every opportunity to partner and advocate in new ways, listen and learn from other specialties when and if appropriate, and – most importantly – leverage our expertise and influence more effectively.

From ACEP’s perspective, there are 8-key considerations they are committed to addressing:

  1. Stem the growth of emergency medicine residents and residency programs
  2. Raise the bar and ensure consistency across emergency medicine residency training
  3. Ensure business interests are not superseding the needs of educating the workforce
  4. Support practicing physicians to encourage rewarding practice in all communities
  5. Advocate that NPs and PAs working in the unique environment of emergency department have sufficient specialty training and work as a member of the emergency physician-led team
  6. Set the standards for emergency medicine so every patient has access to a board-certified emergency physician
  7. Broaden the umbrella to expand emergency medicine physician scope of practice
  8. Expand the reach of emergency medicine to ensure that no community is left behind

Read the Brief Summary prepared by ACEP’s Board for more detail.

Facts from the Findings:

  • Market consolidation, fragmentation and health care economics have shifted incentives across our industry. In many settings, we have seen board-certified, emergency physician hours and contracts eliminated in favor of more cost advantageous PA or NP hours at the detriment to both patients and our workforce alike.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare many vulnerabilities within the health care system and accelerated the pressures and challenges we face to ensuring and maintaining a meaningful and sustainable emergency medicine workforce.
  • The contribution of telehealth and other transformative practice models has shown us how the volume of ED visits may not grow at the same pace as the projected supply of physicians.

Finding Solutions

ACEP and our emergency medicine partners will translate the data we collect and ideas from the community into action plans as we take steps to redefine emergency medicine of the future. The implementation of the ideas discussed will require the involvement of the entire specialty.

There is not one perfect, holistic solution to address market-driven industry instability. We must acknowledge change will take time and precision, and there are no quick fixes for the challenges we face.

Additional Reading

  • ACEP Frontline podcast with Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP. He sits down with EMRA president Dr. RJ Sontag to discuss how these findings land with EM residents and a discussion of some of the many solutions on the table moving forward.
  • A Twitter thread from Ashley Tarchione, MD summarizing the report and the EMRA Vice Speaker’s insights.
  • A Twitter thread from Hannah Hughes, MD, MBA on the report.
  • A Twitter thread from Babak Behgam, DO with his insights.