What do primary care physicians and cardiac surgeons have in common?

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They’re both going to be scarce.

Along with primary care, cardiothoracic surgeons are projected to be in short supply, according to a report in MedPage Today. A study found in Circulation suggested that fewer medical students are pursuing the field, leading to a “shortage of at least 1,500 surgeons or 25% of the likely projected need.”

Lifestyle issues are cited, as it takes over 8 years of post-graduate training to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.

It’s interesting to note, however, whether the need for bypass surgery will be the same 10 to 15 years from now. Already, the frequency of bypass surgery for coronary artery disease has decreased by 28 percent from 1997 to 2004, while the frequency of cardiac stenting has more than doubled over the same period.

Perhaps the waning demand for their services may render cardiac surgeons less relevant, and thus, less heavily in demand in the future.

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