Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The doctor won't see you now? Study: US facing a neurologist shortage

Date:
April 17, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
Americans with brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS) who need to see a neurologist may face longer wait times or have more difficulty finding a neurologist, according to a new study.

Americans with brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis (MS) who need to see a neurologist may face longer wait times or have more difficulty finding a neurologist, according to a new study published in the April 17, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The findings are being released as nearly 150 neurologists will descend on Capitol Hill next Tuesday, April 23, 2013, to encourage Congress to protect patients' access to neurologists and ensure there will be care for the one in six Americans currently affected by brain disease.

"We want Congress to act now to help alleviate this shortage at a time when baby boomers are aging and the number of people with Alzheimer's disease is expected to triple by 2050," said Timothy A. Pedley, MD, FAAN, President of the American Academy of Neurology, the world's largest association of neurologists. "Neurologists are the physicians best suited to care for the one in six people currently affected by neurological disease. It is therefore vital that they have access to neurologists who are specially trained in treating brain diseases."

Cognitive care, or face-to-face time with neurologists, is undervalued by the current Medicare payment system and neurologists participating in next Tuesday's Neurology on the Hill will be asking for fair reimbursement for face-to-face care of neurology patients. Without fair and stable reimbursement, medical students and residents who have substantial education debt often are forced to seek more financially rewarding specialties than neurology.

"With the rapidly rising rates of brain diseases such as dementia and stroke at the same time as the number of US medical residents choosing neurology over other specialties is clearly declining, the US could face a crisis," said study author Thomas R. Vidic, MD, with Elkhart Clinic in Elkhart, Indiana and a Fellow with the American Academy of Neurology. "Our study found that long wait times for patients to see a neurologist and difficulty finding neurologists to fill vacant positions are adding to the current national shortfall. In addition, the demand for neurologists is expected to grow as people gain coverage through health care reform."

For the study, researchers created future year projections by reviewing the current number of US neurologists and simulating retirement probability, new graduates, and patient care hours worked.

The study found that the demand for neurologists will grow faster than the supply. The US could use 11 percent more neurologists to meet current needs. By 2025, that number will grow to 19 percent. The study found that the estimated 16,366 US neurologists is projected to increase to 18,060 by 2025, while demand for neurologists is projected to increase from about 18,180 in 2012 to 21,440 during that time.

Previous studies have shown that the average wait times to see a neurologist are increasing. The average wait time for a new patient to see a neurologist in 2012 was 35 business days, up from 28 business days in 2010. The average wait for a follow-up visit in 2012 was 30 days, up from 26 days in 2010. Other studies have shown that these wait times are longer than those for new visits for family practitioners, cardiologists and other specialties.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "The doctor won't see you now? Study: US facing a neurologist shortage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417164444.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, April 17). The doctor won't see you now? Study: US facing a neurologist shortage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417164444.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "The doctor won't see you now? Study: US facing a neurologist shortage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417164444.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins