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The status of US allergy/immunology physicians in the 21st century: A report from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Workforce Committee

  • Gailen D. Marshall
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Gailen D. Marshall, MD, PhD, FAAAAI, Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216-4505.
    Affiliations
    From the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center
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  • on behalf of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Workforce Committee
    Author Footnotes
    ∗ Committee members: Dr Leonard Bacharier (Vice-Chair); Dr N. Franklin Adkinson, Jr; Dr John A. Anderson; Dr Mark Ballow; Dr Robert Bush; Dr Frederick Cogen; Dr David Huston; Erika Jones; Dr Pramod Kelkar; Dr Stephen Kemp; Dr Stephen McGeady; Dr Giselle Mosnaim; Dr Maeve O'Connor; Dr Jorge Quel; and Dr Michael Rupp.
  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Committee members: Dr Leonard Bacharier (Vice-Chair); Dr N. Franklin Adkinson, Jr; Dr John A. Anderson; Dr Mark Ballow; Dr Robert Bush; Dr Frederick Cogen; Dr David Huston; Erika Jones; Dr Pramod Kelkar; Dr Stephen Kemp; Dr Stephen McGeady; Dr Giselle Mosnaim; Dr Maeve O'Connor; Dr Jorge Quel; and Dr Michael Rupp.
      The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has tracked the US allergy/immunology physician workforce (AIPW) over the past 3 decades by funding 2 workforce surveys (1999, 2004). Results have demonstrated both accomplishments of and challenges for the US AIPW. Accomplishments include increases in diversity (25% women in 2004, 20% in 1999, 10% in 1989; 6% underrepresented minorities in 2004, 5% in 1999), 95% of AIPW has completed an allergy/immunology (A/I) training program, and 91% are American Board of Allergy and Immunology (a conjoint board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics)–certified (90% in 1999). Training positions and program numbers are slowly increasing, and numbers of new graduates from accredited A/I programs have also increased. We are seeing patients with more complex allergic and immune diseases and giving less allergen immunotherapy. Personal, professional, and economic satisfaction is increasing. Challenges relate primarily to diminishing practitioner supply (4245 in 2004 vs 4356 in 1999) amid growing US population demand. The AIPW is gradually aging (the average age is 53 years in 2004, compared with 51 years in 1999) and working longer before retiring. The combination of job satisfaction, the high demand for A/I services, and the large number of fellowship applicants all support expanding the supply of trained allergists/immunologists.

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology), ABAI (American Board of Allergy and Immunology), A/I (Allergy/immunology), AMA (American Medical Association), CHWS (Center for Health Workforce Studies)
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