Demand for Primary Care Docs Remains Strong

John Commins, September 30, 2013

The demand for primary care doctors is being fueled by health reform mandates as well as physician turnover, which has been on the rise over the past three years, a physician recruitment report finds.

Primary care doctors and mid-level staff continue to be in high demand with healthcare organizations preparing for coordinated care and the Affordable Care Act.

The Association for Staff Physician Recruiters' 2013 In-House Physician Recruitment Benchmarking Report finds that nearly 70% of responding organizations searched for a family medicine physician in 2012. Other top searches for physicians included hospitalists, internists, pediatricians and emergency medicine. Advanced practice providers made up more than 17% of all searches. Approximately 38% of nurse practitioner searches and 43% of physician assistant searches were for primary care.

ASPR Executive Director Jennifer Metivier says the report includes metrics on nearly 5,000 physician and advanced practice provider searches conducted in 2012 by in-house recruiters employed by healthcare organizations across the country.

Nearly 33% of open positions remained unfilled at year's end, and recruiting proved to be even more difficult for non-urban areas. The study found a statistically significant difference in the 34.9% of open positions in healthcare organizations serving populations of 10,000 or less compared with those 29.5% open positions for organizations in populations of more than 500,000. Specialties that were least likely to be filled were dermatology, infectious disease, OB/GYN subspecialties, endocrinology/metabolism and neurology.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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