BALTIMORE, March 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite advances in digital technologies, growing consumer demand and regulatory changes encouraging the use of telemedicine, less than 12 percent of the 12,660 practicing urologists within the United States participated in a telemedicine program in 2018; however, nearly 84 percent of those who currently do, expect telemedicine services to increase within the next three years. Further, 61 percent believe the use of these services offers individuals in underserved areas new opportunities for enhanced quality of care with reduced costs. This new data, as well as additional findings regarding the specialty of urology, are highlighted in the American Urological Association's (AUA) newly released 2018 Annual Census report, The State of the Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States.
The AUA Annual Census presents a comprehensive portrayal of the urologic workforce in the United States and remains a novel data source to explore the urologic profession and report both cross-sectional variations and trends. Results provide an array of information aimed at bridging knowledge gaps, meeting increased research needs and ultimately, improving patient care.
- U.S. urologists handled more than 45 million patient encounters in 2018; up from an estimated 41 million in 2016.
- While the urologic workforce in the United States is predominantly male, the percentage of female urologists continued to rise in 2018 to 9.2; up from 8.6 percent in 2016.
- Approximately 57 percent of practicing urologists in the United States work in private practice (down from 59 percent in 2016) while 42 percent practice in institutional settings such as hospitals or academic medical centers (up from 40 percent in 2016).
- More than half of practicing urologists are over the age of 55, and nearly 30 percent are aged 65 years or older.
- Nearly 38 percent of practicing urologists have a primary subspecialty; down from 40 percent in 2016. Oncology remains the most common subspecialty area.
- Approximately 95 percent of practicing urologists used an electronic health records system in their practices in 2018, an increase from 91.9 percent when the Census initially launched in 2014. Lower utilization was found in male urologists 45 years of age or older and urologists in solo practices.
"The AUA U.S. Census seeks to take the pulse of the nation's urology workforce," said Steven M. Schlossberg, MD, chair of the AUA Data Committee. "In the last two years, physicians have had to process or respond to a profound series of new or ongoing events and the Census serves as a resource about the realities of practicing urology for health policy leaders."
Further data trends regarding work/life balance, patient visits, retirement details, as well as other practice characteristics can be found in the 2018 report. Copies of the full report can be found on the AUA Web site at www.AUAnet.org/CensusReport
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 22,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.
Christine Frey, AUA
SOURCE American Urological Association