PCPs, nurses in greatest demand

May 31, 2012

If you're searching for a job, you're in luck. More than half of all healthcare postings in the first months of this year have been for PCPs, and that number could grow.

The demand for doctors is more than healthy, representing roughly half of all employer requests for medical professionals in the first quarter of 2012.

Primary care physicians (PCPs)-including internists, family physicians, and general practitioners-are the most sought-after doctors, according to the Q1 2012 Healthcare Jobs Snapshot by HEALTHeCAREERS Network, a healthcare recruiting company.

Most physician job openings in the first quarter of 2012 were for family medicine, internal medicine, and emergency medicine positions, according to the report, with internal medicine offering 10 job openings for every seven applicants.

The demand is expected to increase, according to the company, because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could add another 30 million newly insured patients to the marketplace-provided the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t strike down all or part of the law in its expected June ruling.

The report also cites the PCP shortage, the desire among doctors for greater flexibility and work-life balance, older physicians leaving the workforce, high turnover due to competition, and the need for varying pay structures as factors contributing to the robust employment outlook.

Nurses are the most sought-after medical professionals, according to the report, but only 6% of all job postings in the first quarter were from employers willing to accept new graduates. Healthcare information technology job openings are on the rise, the report notes. The number of applicants for positions as healthcare executives, marketing professionals, and administrators, as well as those looking for work in women’s heath fields, exceeds the number of openings in those fields, according to the report.

The demand for healthcare is likely to continue, as evidenced by recent reports from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 19,000 healthcare jobs were added in April, with jobs in home healthcare and doctors’ offices increasing by 15,000 alone. The department’s latest Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that physician employment will grow by 24% from 2010 to 2020. The handbook cites expansion of healthcare-related industries and an increasing and aging population as the reasons for growth in the healthcare market but cautions that demand could be stifled by new technologies enabling doctors to treat more patients in the same amount of time and changes to healthcare reimbursement policies resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

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