A commentary on how palliative care programs and palliative medicine physicians can play a role in the improvement of advanced illness management in the US
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
End-of-Life Care and Physicians: Shortage or Surplus?
If fewer physicians are needed to care for the growing numbers of seniors, as this article concludes, then how will physician services be redeployed? In favor of palliative medicine physicians, to be sure. Yet, other specialists can not so readily be expected to relinquish their current roles in end-of-life care. Or, is there plenty of room for many "specialists", each applying their own competencies in close coordination with their medical and nursing colleagues. I'm curious to learn your views on the surplus/shortage issue (especially as it relates to end-of-life care) and suggestions on how to best hasten the redeployment of physician services so that it is factored into health reform.