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Specialty Telemedicine: Today’s Solution for the Physician Shortage

A projected shortage of up to 34,000 medical specialists is expected by 2034, according to new research from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Need for specialty care – including cardiology, critical care and pulmonology, infectious diseases, and nephrology, fueled in large part by a growing and aging population – will exceed the available supply of physicians. The results will be delayed or foregone care, leading to poorer health outcomes.

Specialty telemedicine offers an immediate solution, as hospitals and health systems can get the most out of available resources rather than competing to recruit and retain a limited pool of physicians. Access Physicians’ telemedicine programs partner with hospitals to implement specialty care service lines that can stand alone or can augment on-site physician availability to ensure full 24/7 coverage.

From cardiology and infectious disease to maternal-fetal medicine and pulmonary and critical care, our telemedicine programs bring expert specialists to hospitals’ patients through the power of technology. The collaborative programs build relationships with on-site physicians and clinicians to offer specialty care for complex, high-acuity patients that allow hospitals to better serve the care needs of their communities and to retain more patients locally.

Increasing the number of physicians takes years and requires taxpayer investment in creating new residency positions. These are important policy questions that merit debate and analysis, but hospitals have patients to care for now. With specialty, high-acuity telemedicine, they can.