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Impact of critical care physician workforce for intensive care unit physician staffing

Pronovost, Peter J. MD, PhD*; Waters, Hugh PhD†; Dorman, Todd MD‡

Current Opinion in Critical Care:
Ethical, legal, and organizational issues in the ICU
Abstract

The Society for Critical Care Medicine has advocated for intensivist lead multi-disciplinary critical care for our 30 years; growing evidence supports their assertion. It is estimated that if intensive care unit (ICU) physician staffing (IPS) was implemented in non-rural United States hospitals, 53,000 lives and $5.4 billion would be saved annually. Despite the benefits of hiring physicians specialized in the treatment of critically ill patients, many hospitals worry about their ability to hire critical care physicians to staff their ICUs. In this essay, we discuss issues regarding the future supply of and demand for critical care physicians beginning with an overview of how to evaluate physician supply and demand in general. We then discuss supply and demand for critical care physicians considering emerging issues such as the Leapfrog standard that may impact estimates of the supply and demand for critical care physicians.

Author Information

Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Community Health and Health Systems, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Department of Surgery, * The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, †‡ The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Correspondence to Peter J. Pronovost, MD,PhD, Associate Professor, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Meyer 295, Baltimore, Maryland; e-mail: ppronovo@jhmi.edu

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.