According to a study, researchers examine the current US emergency medicine workforce in terms of clinician type and rural, urban emergency medicine workforce differences. The study was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Emergency Department

Researchers performed a cross-sectional study of all clinicians receiving reimbursement for evaluation and management services to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries in the emergency department using the 2014 Medicare Public Use Files. Providers were classified as emergency physicians, non-emergency physicians, and advanced practice providers.

The researchers found that of the 58,641 unique emergency medicine clinicians, 61.1, 14.3, and 24.5% were classified as emergency physicians, non-emergency physicians, and advanced practice providers, respectively. Family practice and internal medicine predominated among non-emergency physicians categorized as emergency medicine clinicians (41.7 and 19.9%, respectively).

Emergency Medicine

Physician assistants and nurse practitioners (68.4 and 31.5%, respectively) predominated among advanced practice providers. Overall, 58,565 emergency medicine clinicians were mapped to 2,291 U.S. counties. The proportion of emergency physicians was higher in urban versus rural counties (63.9 versus 44.8%); 27.1 and 41.4% of counties, respectively, had no emergency medicine clinicians and no emergency physicians reimbursed by Medicare fee-for-service Part B.

This work establishes a new baseline estimate of the emergency care workforce, encompassing nearly 60,000 emergency medicine clinicians, of whom fewer than two in three were emergency physicians. Notable differences exist in the type of clinician staffing of emergency care between urban and rural communities.