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To bring about destruction by overcrowding, mass starvation, anarchy, the destruction of our most cherished values—there is no need to do anything. We need only do nothing except what comes naturally—and breed. And how easy it is to do nothing. Isaac Asimov
The purpose of any training program is to provide a supply of skilled workers to address an unmet demand for their services. With respect to medical training, new physicians are required either to take the place of retiring physicians or to address an unmet demand for patient care. Evolving data strongly suggest that the supply of neurointerventional (NI) physicians is not only sufficient, but has exceeded the present need for services. Despite this, we continue to train new neurointerventionists (NIs) in unprecedented and increasing numbers every year. These new NI physicians are finding it progressively more difficult to secure employment and, once hired, face considerable challenges in building a practice and developing/maintaining their skills. Fellowship training is ingrained into the fabric of our academic practices and currently seems to be perpetuated more by inertia than a dynamic evaluation of the present workforce needs. It is the position of the authors that, if we do not re-evaluate this process, we are potentially doing a tremendous disservice to the people we are training, to patients in need of treatment (and maybe more importantly to those patients with lesions who are not in need of treatment), and finally to ourselves.
One of the more difficult aspects of evaluating the NI workforce is obtaining accurate data to characterize the status of current supply and demand—such as the number of practicing NI physicians, the number and growth rate of neuroendovascular cases and the number of new graduates entering the market each year. These statistics must be triangulated using several available sources, the most …
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