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Physician Employment Growth in 2019

Physician Employment Growth in 2019

Posted by Kyle Furman and Priya Korrapati on October 1, 2020

Recent data shows that the demand for physicians has been increasing year-to-year, for the last three years since 2016; unfortunately, this has still not helped the fact that the U.S. is facing significant physician shortages throughout the country. The physician shortage is so dire, that it is predicted that it will exceed over 120,000 by 2032, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Despite this looming statistic, physicians should still be excited about market growth in healthcare. This article highlights how the continued growth of the U.S. economy in 2019, made it easier than ever for physicians to find jobs. 

A report claimed that “in 2019 as the U.S. economy saw its GDP on the rise and unemployment across the country decrease, job opportunities in the healthcare sector particularly flourished, with more than 402,000 industry jobs being created since 2018. There was a particular focus on observing the top 10 metropolitan areas for physician employment in the U.S., with the data suggesting there was a 5 percent uptick in physician demand, in these areas”. These studies prove one thing, that the number of American’s with health insurance has never been higher. With improving access to healthcare there should be consistent growth in demand for physicians across the country.  

METROPOLITAN AREAS WITH THE HIGHEST DEMAND FOR PHYSICIANS 

The TOP 10 areas with the highest demand for physicians:
1.    El Paso
2.    Miami
3.    Cleveland
4.    Phoenix
5.    Denver
6.    Portland, Maine
7.    Seattle
8.    Honolulu
9.    Minneapolis
10.    Los Angeles


How has physician growth been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic:
As hospitals removed what was considered the lifeblood of financial gains, in their respective departments (elective procedures) to make way for Covid-19 patients, clinics, doctor offices and other health facilities closed across the country due to safety and quarantine-at-home orders. This has caused quite the disaster as physicians have been forced to leave their jobs, or have had their hours dramatically cut, at a time where they are needed most. 
Merritt Hawkins (a physician staffing firm) predicts demand for physicians will surge again, once the U.S. escapes the restraints the pandemic has manifested, particularly in certain fields. As the company said in its report “demand for physicians on the front lines of virus care, including emergency medicine physicians, pulmonologists/critical care physicians, and infectious disease specialists is projected to increase as a result of Covid-19”.
Unsurprisingly one sector in the healthcare industry that has flourished, due to COVID-19, is telemedicine. Telemedicine has taken on significant importance, as patients prefer to be diagnosed from home, rather than risk contracting the coronavirus, by visiting their physician’s office. Physicians have noticed the increase of demand for telemedicine and are becoming more familiar and trained with the procedures.