Cumberland Times-News

November 23, 2012

W.Va. in need of more specialty physicians

Limits placed on number med schools can train

Associated Press

— CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Doctors who specialize in skin care and treating diseases of the glands are in short supply in West Virginia.

Demand is high for dermatologists and endocrinologists. The trouble is producing more doctors in those fields.

The dermatology residency program at West Virginia University’s School of Medicine is the state’s only such training program. It accepts one student each year.

Dr. Norman Ferrari, chairman of WVU medical education department, told the Charleston Daily Mail a national accrediting body limits the number of dermatology graduates that member schools are allowed to produce.

To increase its number of graduates, WVU would have to show the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education that there is a need for more dermatologists in the state and that the university has enough qualified faculty to accommodate a larger program.

“They determine how many you’re authorized to have,” Ferrari said. “We’re not at liberty to summarily increase that because there’s a need.”

Endocrinologists treat patients who suffer from diabetes, thyroid diseases, metabolic and hormone disorders, and certain cancers.