Primary Care Physicians in Demand, Salaries Rising

Sep 11, 2013, 9:17 AM

For years, medical students have been choosing specialties over primary care at a rate that has alarmed experts concerned about a shortage of primary care providers. Two new surveys shed light on the primary care workforce.

Primary care physicians were the most actively recruited professionals within the physician and advanced practitioner recruiting market by the health care staffing firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Merritt Hawkins recently released a report summarizing the trends among its 3,097 recruiting assignments in 48 states conducted during that time period. For the seventh consecutive year, family physicians and general internists were the top two most requested physicians, the report says.

The firm also notes a rise in demand for physician assistants and nurse practitioners, as well as an acute shortage of psychiatrists.

In addition to being in high demand, another survey from the Hays Group, a global management consulting firm, finds primary care physicians could see a higher salary increase than specialists in 2014. The growth will be even greater for primary care physicians in hospital-based settings, the report says.

Read a summary of the Merritt Hawkins report.
Read a news release about the Hays Group survey.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.