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What growing demand for physicians means to top hospital executives

The spike in physician jobs is outpacing the strong economy, and that means it's time for hospitals to prepare for even fewer doctors to choose from.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

There's has been a 7 percent year-over-year increase in job growth among physicians in the U.S., as well as strong regional increases in compensation, according to Doximity's new national research study on the 2018 labor market for doctors and related healthcare professionals.

IMPACT

Hospital leaders are already struggling with talent shortages across multiple departments, including clinical and information technology. Doximity's report, drawn from a sample of more than 8,000 physician job advertisements nationally, illustrates the likelihood that hiring top talent will continue to be challenging, if not become even more difficult.

"While the physician shortage in the US has been extensively researched, our data indicates that we may be starting to experience the impact of this trend," Doximity's report said.

THE TREND

The economy as a whole experienced growth this year, and so did the healthcare sector. But the demand for physician jobs is outpacing the strong economy, suggesting the possibility of demand outstripping the available supply of medical talent.

Physicians are still flocking to larger metro areas and suburban communities. 

The southeast and northeast, in fact, are the most popular regions in which to practice, but unlike past years where the margin was wider, this year the southeast edged out its northern counterpart by only six percent. The Pacific and Great Lakes regions were tied for third, having pushed down the mid-atlantic.

The top five metropolitan areas where doctors are most in demand are Tucson, Los Angeles, Chicago, Little Rock and Baltimore.

The top five specialties most in demand are family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology.

The top five metropolitan areas where nurse practitioners are most in demand are Fresno, New Orleans, Fayetteville, Albany, and Baltimore.

THEIR TAKE

From the Doximity report: "Our data shows that physician shortages, as they happen, will likely initially present themselves as regional challenges. Smaller cities and rural communities will likely experience shortages of medical talent first, given that many doctors choose to practice in places where they complete their residency programs."

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Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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