5 Physician Recruitment Statistics You Need to Watch in 2017

The new year is well under way, and physician recruiters are finding themselves deep in the search for the perfect candidates to fill their recruitment needs. As much as recruiting high quality physicians last year was difficult, recently released surveys and statistics are showing that the physician recruitment field is only going to get more competitive.

A combination of factors, including the physician shortage and growth in newer practice models, are creating an even more competitive landscape. Below are five physician recruitment statistics and how they will effect recruiter’s candidate sourcing strategies – and their ability to fill open position.

1. Turnover across the healthcare field is at 17%

Physicians are switching jobs and retiring at rates higher than ever before. With more positions to choose from, and with organizations engaging in compensation battles to capture the best candidates, it’s no wonder that physicians are switching jobs with greater frequency than before. Add in the fact that a large portion of the physician population is at or nearing retirement age and you have physicians leaving organizations – and often the workforce – more than in years past.

2. According to a recent HealtheCareers survey, the time to fill health care positions has increased for 49% of organizations.

The physician shortage is getting worse every year, with an increasing number of positions to fewer available candidates. Between decreased interest in primary care, the increased demand for candidates, and an spike in retiring physicians, many organizations are finding that it takes far longer to fill a position than before. This means that many organizations will find themselves hiring locums physicians or facing potential lost revenue for longer than before, putting a financial strain on many hospitals and health systems.

3. Physician compensation is on the rise for nearly all specialties, by anywhere from 1%-12% –Medscape Survey

With so much competition for a limited pool of candidates, many organizations are increasing physician compensation in order to attract more candidates. This has led to rising salaries across most specialties and anxiety among organizations that can’t financially support higher salaries. This will also make it more difficult for recruiters to fill open positions and plays a part in the longer times it is taking to fill positions.

4. The demand for Primary Care and Mental Health keeps rising faster than supply, and immigration restrictions can exacerbate the shortage with roughly 25% of psychiatrists and primary care physicians now coming from foreign medical schools.

Recruiters are very familiar with the impact of the physician shortage on their physician recruitment efforts, especially in primary care and mental health. Unfortunately, it seems as if the situation may get worse. Many foreign trained physicians are facing uncertainty of whether or not they currently will be able to begin and/or complete their residencies in the US. Additionally, this uncertainty may deter these foreign trained physicians from coming to the US entirely. With roughly a quarter of all physicians in the country coming from abroad – most of whom go into primary care or psychiatry – recruiters may have more difficulty filling open positions in these fields.

5. 50-100 new Urgent Care Clinics open each year –UCAOA

As recruiting Internists and Family Medicine physicians becomes more difficult, the growing number of Urgent Care centers will pose a challenge. Drawing from the same specialty pools as primary care, urgent care centers are making it more difficult for continuity practices to recruit enough physicians, all while they themselves are having difficulty staying adequately staffed.

Key Take Aways:

  • There will continue to be fewer primary care and psychiatry physicians than needed throughout the country due to increased demand, a possible decrease in supply, and competing practice models.
  • It is taking longer to fill open positions – and costing more. Physicians have more options than ever and are seeing organizations raise compensation packages in order to compete.
  • Physicians are switching positions or retiring at higher rates than before, making it even more important for recruiters to be able to source and recruit top candidates quickly.

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