How APPs and Organizations Can Address the Neurologist Shortage: Jennifer Majersik, MD, MS

The director of the division of vascular neurology at the University of Utah discussed ongoing efforts from the AAN, as well as the potential to integrate advanced practice providers into neurology teams.

“It’s almost as if the more we looked, the more we saw that the AAN could do, but we also think that this is an effort that individual neurologists should play a role in, even outside of those organizational efforts, because some boots on the ground are really necessary.”

The shortage of neurologists is an ongoing issue, recently addressed in a report from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2019 Transforming Leaders Program. Entitled “A Shortage of Neurologists – We Must Act Now,” the paper was authored by 10 experts led by Jennifer Majersik, MD, MS, chief, division of vascular neurology and professor of neurology, the University of Utah. 

Majersik spoke with NeurologyLive on the shortage and the resultant report, commenting on the AAN’s role in increasing awareness, as the main professional organization in the United States for neurologists. Advocacy efforts are primarily conducted through BrainPAC, AAN’s federal political action committee, located in Washington, DC, but additional advocacy arms also assisting in efforts to address salary discrepancies and increase telemedicine within the field, Majersik said. 

One method to address the shortage of neurologists in real-time may be by incorporating advanced practice providers. According to Majersik, training nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and other advanced practice providers, in the field of neurology can provide for more experts in the field, regardless of the “traditional MD pathway.”