There are plenty of reasons to consider medical tourism, and it’s not all about money. While financial considerations may be the driving force today – I expect that to change over the next ten years as the developing surgeon shortage becomes more acute. American surgeons are becoming older – and we aren’t attracting, training or replacing enough of them to keep up with demand.. Right now the shortage isn’t noticeable… or Is it?
A new article on Medscape (free subscription required, but multiple pages, and difficult to re-post) from the Annals of Surgery discusses increasing wait times for cancer surgery..
The surgeon shortage is expected to impact all specialties, but particularly cardiothoracic surgery where differing experts predict a 2,000 surgeon shortage by either 2020 (9 years!) or 2030, just as they estimate demand will double. Currently, there are only about 4,500 cardiothoracic surgeons, if that gives you an idea of the scope of the problem.. Right now, the average age of these surgeons is 56 – 57 years old – and training programs are only at 65 – 67% occupancy..
(I can post references if anyone would like for these statistics.)