A minimal estimate of the number of positions in academic hematology in the United States was 1159 of which 10% were unfilled in the fall of 1971. Exclusive of positions in federal institutions (Veterans Administration and military hospitals), 72% of the salary support for filled positions was derived from "hard money", and similar nogrant sources were available for the support of 74% of the salaries for unfilled positions. Private institutions had slightly less "hard money" salary support than did public institutions. A probable maximum of one-third of the positions now supported by grants would be supported by "hard money" were grant support to terminate.
The numbers of positions in academic hematology tripled in the 11 yr from 1960 to 1971. Because of the staffing needs for new medical schools, and the expansion of classes in existing medical schools as well as the need for physician-scientists in the developing programs in oncology and sickle cell disease, the growth of hematology will probably continue, albeit at a slower rate.
Academic hematologists’ research interests were divided among several areas. The primary interests of the largest numbers of researchers were oncology, red blood cells, hemostasis and coagulation, and immunohematology. Attention was directed to the rather small numbers of academic hematologists with research interests in blood banking, clinical laboratories, and nutrition. It is not clear whether efficient development of larger programs in oncology and sickle cell disease will require more academic hematologists with experience in these areas than are now available.
These data do not provide information about the overall national needs for hematologists in service laboratories in nonacademic institutions or in the delivery of health care. Nor do they provide the basis for any recommendations about the size or composition of divisions of hematology in medical schools. They do provide the first overall appraisal of the size, funding, and research areas in academic hematology in this country.