Current status of the rheumatologists’ workforce in Latin America: a PANLAR collaborative study

Daniel Gerardo Fernández-Ávila, Daniela Patino-Hernandez, Sergio Kowalskii, Alfredo Vargas-Caselles, Ana Maria Sapag, Antonio Cachafeiro-Vilar, Lucia Meléndez-Muñoz, Carlos Santiago-Pastelín, Cesar Graf, Chayanne Rossetto, Daniel Palleiro, Daniela Trincado, Diana Fernández-Ávila, Dina Arrieta, Gil Reyes, Jossiel Then Baez, Manuel F. Ugarte-Gil, Mario Cardiel, Nelly Colman, Nilmo ChávezPaula I. Burgos, Ruben Montúfar, Sayonara Sandino, Yurilis Fuentes-Silva, Enrique R. Soriano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Studies conducted by various scientific societies have shown that the demand for specialized rheumatology care is greater than the projected growth of the workforce. Our research aims to assess the current status of the rheumatology workforce in Latin America. Method: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional study. A survey was created on the RedCap platform. Data were analyzed with STATA 15® Software. We present descriptive analyses. The rate of inhabitants per rheumatologist was calculated using the number of rheumatologists practicing in each country and the inhabitants for year 2020. Results: Our sample was composed by 19 PANLAR member countries in Latin America. Latin America has one rheumatologist per 106,838 inhabitants. The highest rate of rheumatologist per inhabitants was found in Uruguay (1 per 27,426 inhabitants), and the lowest was found in Nicaragua (1 per 640,648 inhabitants). Mean age was 51.59 (SD12.70), ranging between 28 and 96 years of age. Mean monthly compensation was USD $2382.6 (SD$1462.5). The country with lowest salary was Venezuela ($197), whereas the highest was Costa Rica ($4500). Conclusions: There is a high variability in rheumatologists’ workforce characteristics in Latin America. These results could lead to policies aiming to increase the availability and income of rheumatologists, in order to increase opportunity and quality of care of patients living with rheumatic diseases.Key Points• The rheumatologists’ workforce varies significantly among Latin American countries.• The supply of rheumatologists is insufficient for meeting the increasing need for specialists in this field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rheumatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR).

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Latin America
  • Rheumatology
  • Workforce

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