US cities grapple with potential oncologist shortage: 4 findings

A number of the nation's major cities risk shortages of oncologists, a concerning trend that may affect cancer care, according to a new study from Doximity. 

For the study, researchers examined CMS data, board certification data and self-reported data on more than 20,000 full-time, board-certified oncologists. They specifically looked at the largest 50 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas based on the number of women older than 40 according to 2010 Census data.

Four findings:

1. Miami topped the list of 10 metro areas most likely to face a shortage of oncologists. The other metro areas on the list are: Virginia Beach, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; North Port, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Las Vegas; New Orleans; Raleigh, N.C.; and Providence, R.I.

2. In half of the studied metro areas, more than 20 percent of practicing oncologists are older than 65. Researchers said this indicates "an imminent wave of retiring oncologists," as a study published by The Oncologist showed oncologists still working after age 64 planned to retire within the following three or four years.

3. The metro areas with the highest percentage of oncologists 65 and older are: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.; Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.; Tucson, Ariz.; and New Orleans-Metairie, La..

4. The metro areas with the lowest perentage of oncologists 65 and older are: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.; Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.; Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas.

Read more about the study here


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