Help Wanted in Hepatology

MW Russo et al. Hepatology 2020; 72: 1444-1454. Modeling the Hepatology Workforce in the United States: A Predicted Critical Shortage

Overall, this article details the estimated shortage of hepatologists in the coming years.

Key points:

  • One of the more interesting suggestions in this article is the need to change the name of specialty training from “transplant hepatology” to “advanced hepatology” to more accurately reflect the type of liver conditions managed by hepatologists.
  •  In 2018, the adult and pediatric workforce included 7,296 and 824 hepatology providers, respectively, composed of hepatologists, gastroenterologists, and advanced practice providers whose practice was ≥50% hepatology
  • The modeling analysis projects that in 2023, 2028, and 2033, there will be shortages of 10%, 23%, and 35% adult hepatology providers, respectively, and 19%, 20%, and 16% pediatric hepatology providers, respectively

The authors note that there are many challenges when predicting workforce needs. The main reasons for the predicted shortfall with hepatology include the following:

  • Older age of current clinicians
  • Increasing amount of liver disease (~34% increase from 2018 to 2033), particularly fatty liver disease. This is happening among adults and children.

Related blog post: Sad Truth: Job Security in Hepatology

From The Onion