Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Home Court Advantage
Sorry folks - this issue is near and dear to my heart - pardon the pun. An article over at American Medical News, discusses efforts in my industry to avert a shortage in Cardiologists.

I can remember a time when the words "shortage of" and "cardiologists" were not used in the same sentence unless linked with the words "jobs for". How times change. One controversial proposal would involve the creation of a cardiology track which would eliminate the third year of an internal medicine residency.

Right now residents spend 3 years in an internal medicine program, followed by a 3 year fellowship in cardiology, followed by a year in a subspecialty (like Cath, EP, Echo, Etc.). Hopkins has added a fourth year in our fellowship for a full year of dedicated research. So AFTER you graduate from a 4 year medical school, you can look forward to another 6-7 years of post graduate training before you head out on your own (in academic medicine anyway). The ACC wants to replace that with a 5 year residency program which cuts out the 3rd year of training in the high-tech cardiology procedures such as cath and electrophysiology.

The ACC says that:

The money saved by cutting out that year could be used to train more cardiology residents or fellows, according to the ACC. More cardiologists would be turned out over time, and such a program would attract medical graduates who might be turned off by either the length of the six-year program or the high-intensity lifestyle of a proceduralist.

But the cardiologists' gain would be the internists' loss, Dr. Fye conceded. Residents would spend two years in internal medicine instead of three, leaving internal medicine residencies short on third-year housestaff who handle the bulk of patient care.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In the meantime, if you know any good cardiologists - send 'em my way, I'm hiring.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:10 PM  
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