In 2006, Dr. Bruce Evatt, then CDC Blood Disorders Division Director, sounded the alarm about the decline in benign hematologists. Reviewing years of American Medical Association data, Evatt stated: “the total number of specialists trained in haematology has been increasing, those from programmes that traditionally had an emphasis on bleeding and clotting disorders have declined precipitously but those with emphasis on oncology have risen” (p. 18).
Since the alarm, a study about the state of the adult hematology workforce was conducted in partnership with ASH among graduating or recently graduated adult hematology/oncology fellows (Sharma D, et al, 2019). The summary affirmed, “evidence of widespread concerns about the current and future status of the hematology workforce in the United States, particularly in benign hematology” (p. 10). The study further indicated the need for mentorship opportunities to encourage fellows’ interest (p. 6). A specialty in decline, compounded with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Durani et al (2022) notes that, “the lack of in-person networking opportunities seemed to be a major concern as well, suggesting the important role these opportunities may play for meeting mentors and obtaining a post-training job” (p. 12).
Blood disorders affecting women and girls+, with advancing treatments and the need for improved diagnostics, offer a promising and rewarding pathway for healthcare professionals.