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Dr. Peters on the implications of Dobbs v. Jackson for the urology work force


"There are likely, based on their other results, going to be urologists not willing to move to those states, it's going to exacerbate shortages in care," says Chloe E. Peters, MD.

In this video, Chloe E. Peters, MD, discusses the implications of findings from the study, “Attitudes among Society of Women in Urology Members Toward Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” for which she served as the lead author. Peters is a urology resident at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Video Transcript:

The other part of this was that we did an analysis of urologist distribution across the country. We looked at NPI numbers for 2021, so this was before Dobbs happened. And we looked at the density of urologists across the country because we know from the AUA census that 62% of counties have no urologists, but we didn't know how that correlated with abortion laws. We know that there's a big shortage of urologists. 30% of urologists are 65 or older, so we are facing a big workforce shortage in the coming years. That analysis showed that states with more restrictive abortion laws have fewer urologists per person. So, they already, even before these laws went into place, had lower densities of urologists. They also had fewer female urologists per person. The states that had the most restrictive laws had the strongest correlation with having fewer urologists.

These states already are in a position where it's harder to get urologic care, because you just don't have as many urologists there. We know from other studies that that impacts your outcomes. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, everything else in urology is impacted by your access to care. So, if we combine that with the fact that the states already have fewer urologists, and there are likely, based on their other results, going to be urologists not willing to move to those states, it's going to exacerbate shortages in care. Who's going to treat your septic stone or do prostate biopsy if there are no urologists? This is just urologists, but everybody else who's needed for a urologic team to work so that the medical assistants, the nurses, the PAs, everybody else who's part of that also might factor these laws in.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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