Understanding the character and composition of the rheumatology workforce is essential to meet the challenges facing our profession and provide adequate care for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Assumptions about the future supply of and demand for rheumatologists have broad implications for training, recruitment, practice management, and funding in the field, as well as our ability to provide care for increasing numbers of patients.
For these reasons, the ACR 2022-2027 Strategic Plan includes the following goal.
The ACR will provide tools to support rheumatology workforce expansion and retention to increase access to patient care.
Workforce Intervention Areas
The ACR Workforce Solutions Committee is focused on five intervention areas that will collaboratively address the workforce challenges. Teams will develop tools to support rheumatology workforce expansion and retention within the five intervention areas.
- Innovative methods to support fellowship positions and train providers committed to serving underserved regions
- Recruitment opportunities to sustain the workforce
- Fostering patient-centered communities of care with regional stakeholders
- Virtual training programs
- Grant support for research and training
The first three areas focus on training the rising provider workforce, sustaining the presence of existing providers, and forging relationships with stakeholders that can influence patient-centered care. These areas are supported by ACR’s ongoing work on virtual training programs and grant funding.
The Value of Rheumatology White Paper
The Clinical & Economic Value of Rheumatology: An Analysis of Market Supply and Utilization in the United States, a white paper jointly published by the ACR and ECG Management Consultants, aims to highlight the clinical and economic value of rheumatology patient care. The ACR has also released a position statement on the value of rheumatology.