Where Expert Opinion Meets Public Resistance
December 15, 2010
There is concern and growing evidence that the supply of medical oncologists in the United States will be insufficient to meet the needs of future patients. With an aging population and increasing complexity of cancer therapies, it is clear there will be more patients and that they will live longer and require expert care. It is equally clear that the number of specialists trained in cancer medicine is not growing fast enough to meet projected needs, so new models of care will need to be designed and implemented. Innovation in practice models will require the integration of non-physician practitioners (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) into multidisciplinary teams, broader use of technology to allow virtual consultations and the secure exchange of vital health information, increased utilization of community services, and public acceptance.