America Faces Shortage of Infectious Disease Experts

The United States is currently facing a critical shortage of infectious disease experts. Infectious disease doctors, or IDs as they are commonly referred to in hospitals, are usually tasked with diagnosing diseases and guiding hospital teams in treatment. This tends to involve collecting extensive and detailed medical histories and reviewing past medical records thoroughly to identify the root cause of a patient’s symptoms.

Unsurprisingly, this infectious disease expert work requires a tremendous amount of cognitive effort and plays a critical role in the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients. It also requires key qualifications, with ID doctors having to go through an extra two to three years of specialized fellowship training on top of the usual three years of internal medicine residency training.

Physician, researcher, epidemiologist and Vox reporter Keren Landman stated that while a career in infectious disease can be challenging, it is also quite rewarding. Infectious disease experts are a critical cog in the American healthcare system and a shortage of ID doctors can have devastating consequences, especially as the United States deals with the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Findings from the National Residency Matching Program show that fewer people have been making this challenging but fulfilling career choice. Last November, one-quarter of the infectious disease training positions in the U.S. went unfilled when doctors in training matched for fellowship.

Compared to other medical specialties, which filled roughly 90% of their slots, only 56% of the slots in infectious disease training programs were taken. Shortly after, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) announced that the country will continue to face a shortage of ID doctors, defining them as doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating infectious diseases.

The IDSA noted that ID doctors are critical in health emergencies such as mpox (formerly monkeypox), RSV and the recent coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the IDSA added, infectious disease experts provide the care and expertise that enables routine surgeries, cancer treatments and organ transplants.

Patients who are managed by infectious disease experts tend to have shorter stays in the hospital, incur lower costs and have better health outcomes. However, almost 80% of counties in the U.S. do not have a licensed infectious disease expert, and around 208 million U.S. citizens do not live in a county with adequate ID expertise.

Dr. Daniel Bourque runs the fellowship program at Boston University’s Boston Medical Center, and he notes that the number of infectious disease applicants has been declining over the years. In 2022, none of the three fellowship positions at the Boston Medical Center were filled.

Overall, IDSA president Carlos del Rio noted that fewer doctors have been seeking infectious disease training across the country despite increasing demand for their expertise.

This ID shortage in a way makes a strong case for the efforts being undertaken by enterprises such as BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) to develop next-gen anti-infectious disease formulations so that the world doesn’t get caught in another large-scale outbreak that brings the global economy to its knees as was the case with the recent pandemic.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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