Anticipated future shortages of oncology providers may have a serious and specific impact on women's health care, according to Doximity's 2019 Women's Health and Oncologist Workforce Analysis.
Doximity used Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data, board certification data, and self-reported data on more than 18,000 full-time, board-certified oncology practitioners. 2010 U.S. Census data were used to identify the 50 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with the highest number of women (ages 40 to 75 years) with breast or lung cancer.
The report revealed that Miami; North Port, Florida; New York City; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Hartford, Connecticut; Buffalo, New York; Las Vegas; and San Diego are the 10 MSAs most likely to suffer a shortage of oncologists in the coming years. The metros with the highest number of women with breast cancer included Buffalo, New York; Pittsburgh; Rochester, New York; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Hartford, Connecticut, while the highest number of women with lung cancer were in Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky-Indiana; Syracuse, New York; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Knoxville, Tennessee. MSAs with a percentage of oncologists older than retirement age (≥65 years) exceeding 30 percent included Miami; North Point, Florida; New York City; Los Angeles; and Washington, D.C.
"The growing workload demands, increasing number of retiring oncologists, and talent retention challenges are critical concerns for breast and lung cancer patients," the authors write.