Today’s Hot Spots in the Physician Job Market Might Surprise You

Are you one of the millions of Americans looking to relocate?

With 65 million more people planning to move this year, how can you align your job search with the recent shift in state populations and the never-ending demand for doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers? The Medicus Firm’s 2021 Physician & APC Job Placement Summary has the answers you’ve been looking for. 

Healthcare professionals will continue to be the most in-demand U.S. workers due to the country’s aging population.  According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare employment will increase 15% over the next decade, adding more than 2 million new jobs. That’s more than any other occupation type in America. 

Where are HCPs Going? 

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You’ll have more luck looking for new gigs in Florida and Texas, according to The Medicus Firm’s 2021 Physician & APC Job Placement Summary. Texas is currently experiencing a mind-boggling explosion in population growth. Austin leads the nation for transplants averaging 1.53 new residents for every one Texan who moved to another state.

Additionally, Dallas has experienced similar population growth with 1.35 new residents for every person who left the state.  Florida is experiencing a similar increase, with two cities on the Top 10 Population Growth list. Both Tampa and Jacksonville gained almost 1.5 people for every person who left the Sunshine State. 

If you’re looking for additional cities for a new job and home, Medicus placed most people (after Florida and Texas) in states with large populations like California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia, as well as some surprising states like Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Indiana. These job placement location trends echo other population shift data points such as zip codes with growing rental prices due to an influx in new residents. 

The Medicus Firm’s Summary illustrated another clear trend healthcare job seekers can’t ignore. Most of their new hires went to small- or mid-sized communities meaning fewer than 25,000 people or between 25,001-200,000 people, respectively. 35 percent of their placements went to small communities, and almost 45 percent went to mid-sized communities.

The same is true for specialty types, including primary care, hospital-based, surgical, IM subspecialties, neurology/psychiatry, pediatric subspecialties, and advanced practice. The majority of each group of professionals went to small- or mid-sized communities. Primary care had the most small-sized community placements (46.2 percent), neurology/psychiatry had the most mid-sized placements (55 percent), and pediatric subspecialties had the most large-sized community placements (42.9 percent).

When looking at the total number of placements, here’s how the specialties break down:

  • Primary care: 31.3 percent
  • Surgical: 30.3 percent
  • IM subs: 18.9 percent
  • Hospital-based: 10.4 percent
  • Neuro/psych: 6.7 percent
  • Pediatric subs: 2.4 percent

Placing Employed Physician Trends

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The Medicus Firm’s findings also appear to track with general physician employment trends. For example, the American Medical Association’s 2018 Benchmark Survey found that for the first time, employed physicians (47.4 percent) outnumbered practice-owning physicians (45.9 percent).

The remaining 6.7 percent are contractors, the AMA says. Among the Medicus Firm’s physicians, 53.8 percent were employed by hospitals, 38.9 percent took group-practice jobs, 4.8 percent went solo, and 2.5 percent made other arrangements.

If you’re looking to job hop, the Medicus Firm data supports the idea that physician and HCP demand is here to stay. Look no further than the fact that among those seeking work, nearly 70 percent were placed in fewer than 120 days.

Current Industry Landscape and Future Predictions

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The COVID-19 pandemic created a year like no other for physicians and the healthcare industry's bottom line.  The American Hospital Association predicted $120.5 billion in losses for hospitals and healthcare systems from July to December 2020. Add that to the estimated $202.6 billion in losses from March to June 2020.

The bulk of those revenue declines, The Medicus Firm reports, may stem from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services directive to stop most elective and non-emergent care. Non-COVID patient volume cratered while care costs, driven by heightened infection control procedures and PPE, increased.

Doctors and healthcare professionals lost jobs or faced furloughs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry saw unemployment rates of 10.3 percent, 9.5 percent, and 7.1 percent in April, May, and June of 2020, respectively. The rate stood at 3.7 percent in March 2021.

The pandemic, however, is temporary, and job growth prospects will return to their pre-pandemic predictions.  The BLS projects 4 percent growth for physicians and surgeons through 2029, “about as fast as the average for all occupations.” Looking ahead to 2033, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AMC) predicts a physician shortage between 54,100 and 139,000 by 2033 across primary and specialty care. The primary care shortage is projected to be between 21,400 and 55,200 doctors. The Medicus Firm placement data gives another nod to this prediction.  For the third consecutive year, Family Medicine ranked as the most-placed specialty for the firm. 

Medicus Firm’s full breakdown, ranked from the most to the fewest placements, is outlined as

  • Family medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Cardiology
  • General Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Neurology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Urology
  • Pediatrics
  • Hematology/Oncology

 

TL;DR

According to a new Medicus Firm survey:

  • Florida and Texas received the most placements from the Firm, echoing the overall population trends in the country.
  • Family and Internal Medicine led the way in placements by specialty, tracking with national physician demand.
  • The majority of The Medicus Firm’s placements went to small- and mid-sized communities, tracking national physician demand trends.
  • More than half of the Firm’s placements became employed physicians, following the overall national decline in practice-owning physicians.
  • Among the doctors who worked with Medicus Firm, nearly 70 percent were placed in fewer than 120 days.

 

This post originally appeared on PhysicianSense, a lifestyle blog for healthcare professionals, brought to you by MDLinx. PhysicianSense provides doctors with insights into healthcare, business, careers, personal finance, and life outside of medical practice.

 

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