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Hospital vacancy rate for physicians nears 18 percent, survey shows


Physicians looking for employment have an opportunity to take advantage of doctor shortages-more hospitals have vacancies


Physicians looking for employment have an opportunity to take advantage of doctor shortages-more hospitals have vacancies. A survey of hospital leaders showed a 17.6 percent vacancy rate for physicians at their facilities, which is up from the 10.7 percent vacancy rate the same survey found in 2009.

The results are part of AMN Healthcare’s “2013 Clinical Workforce Survey,” which was released in December and surveyed hospital chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other hospital executives.

Of those who responded, 78% believe there is a moderate to severe shortage of physicians nationwide. Sixty-five percent believe that the Affordable Care Act will create an increased need to hire more physicians at their hospitals, as more patients enter the healthcare system.

“Change in healthcare is a continuous evolution, but the one constant is people,” said AMN President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Salka in a press release. “No matter what models of care are in place, it takes physicians, nurses and other clinicians to provide quality patient care, and the fact is we simply do not have enough of them.”

But it’s not just physicians who may be in short supply in the coming years. Half of the respondents said they believe there is a shortage of advanced practitioners, and 66% said there is a shortage of nurses.

Despite the shortage of primary care physicians, only 28% of executives at teaching hospitals said they plan on adding more residency positions.

“The majority who do not plan to add resident positions cited cost as their primary reason, underscoring how the federal cap on funding for physician graduate medical education is inhibiting physician supply,” the study reported. 

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