According to the American College of Rheumatology 2015 Workforce Survey:
- The current Rheumatology workforce is 4,497 Clinical FTEs. There is currently excess demand of approximately 36%.
- By 2030, the Clinical FTE is projected to be 3,455, a 31% decrease from 2015. A projected demand of 8,184 translates into an excess demand of 4,729 (138% increase) from 2015.
- Over the next 15 years, baby boomer retirements, a millennial predominance, and a female gender shift, will parallel an increased demand in adult rheumatology care.
- Regional and innovative strategies will be necessary to manage access to care and reduce barriers to care for rheumatology patients.
- There is a regional maldistribution of rheumatologists in the United States, and disparities will increase with anticipated retirements and regional population growth estimates. The South Central, North Central and Northwest regions will experience the greatest change in population to provider ratios.
The challenge of an increasing demand for rheumatology care requires novel solutions, processes and a multidisciplinary approach to ensure timely access to care for rheumatology patients.