According to the Federation of State Medical Boards 2020 Census of U.S. Physicians, the physician workforce is 20 percent larger than it was in 2010. This would seem to contradict today’s reality of a physician shortage in the U.S. What these growth numbers do not reflect is the changing face of today’s physician.
That is, the aging physician:
- The average age of an active U.S. licensed physician is 51.7, an additional year higher than in 2010.
- The number of U.S. licensed physicians ages 60-69 has grown more than 38 percent over the 10-year period (2010 – 2020).
- Those U.S. physicians ages 70 and older have grown by 40 percent since 2010.
Another variable: there are far greater numbers of female physicians in the workforce than there were 10 years ago.
So yes, more older physicians are practicing today, but the number of patients they are treating is far fewer than their younger colleagues. Physicians who are late in their careers are reconsidering retirement, preferring an abbreviated work week and smaller patient count to full retirement.
Conversely, younger physicians joining the ranks are choosing not to work long weeks, placing priority on quality of life. The resulting capacity deficit, number of available physician hours vs. number of patients needing medical care, represents challenges even for the most seasoned recruiters.
Does the current physician shortage mean that there are unlimited opportunities for recent graduates or those physicians looking to make a change? Not necessarily. A plethora of opportunities does not equate to an “easy in” with a group practice, healthcare organization or academic institution.
Job candidates are best served by a skilled recruiter who recognizes the value of intangible benefits and who can work to negotiate those benefits that positively impact a candidate’s financial, physical and emotional well-being – no matter the stage of their career. By considering quality of life benefits in the equation, this same skilled recruiter will not only attract top candidates for the employer but help them maintain employee engagement.
Is your recruiter looking out for your quality of life? Is your recruiter contributing to your organization’s employee retention?
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