Respiratory Care and Imaging Technology in California: Education's Response to Workforce Shortages


Vincent Lok, Catherine Dower

Oct 2008

One of the many challenges facing America’s health care system has been securing sufficient numbers of practitioners to fill jobs and meet patient needs. Allied health professions particularly hard hit in recent years include respiratory care and imaging (or radiologic technology). To better understand California’s experience, in early 2008, staff at the UCSF Center for the Health Professions interviewed more than 30 educational leaders identified as either directors of educational programs or clinical staff at affiliated service sites in respiratory care and radiologic technology. This report provides a snapshot of perspectives among California imaging technology and respiratory care program directors regarding their understanding of and responses to labor market supply and demand. It highlights both the capacity and challenges to adapt program size and content to changing employer and patient needs.