demand for specialist physicians continues to outpace the demand for primary
care. “The greatest need we see from our clients is for specialists such as
Neurosurgeons, Neurologists, Urologists, Cardiologists, Radiologists,
Oncologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Hospitalists and Obstetrics/Gynecology,”
states Mark Valentine, MD of MD Network, a national
healthcare staffing firm specializing in physician recruitment and retention.
primary care is still in demand, many hospitals and clinics across the country
have fulfilled their needs for managed care and are now in a recruitment
This has freed up resources to focus efforts on growing and maturing
specialty areas,” continues Dr. Valentine.
recruitment mix is approximately forty percent primary care and sixty percent
specialty searches, compared to just the opposite two years ago,” says Dr.
reasons for the increase in demand for specialists are varied.
Medical residents in certain specialties have declined in recent years,
affecting the supply of specialists.
In addition to fewer specialists, many experienced physicians are
retiring at earlier ages, with fewer physicians available to replace them.
The baby boomer population is aging, requiring the services of more
specialists and many individuals are selecting
health plans that allow direct access to specialists. Other factors such as
advances in technology will continue to drive the need for specialists for the
next several years.
growth for specialists has continued to increase at a higher percentage than
primary care over the last few years.
on a recent MGMA survey, primary care compensation, ie. Family practice,
internal medicine and pediatrics, has increased 7.98% over the last 5 years while specialty compensation has increased 13.46%.
holds true with trends we see with our clients,” says Mr. Savage. Primary care
physician compensation plans are in the $160,000 plus range these days and
more if the physician is required to do obstetrics, while specialty searches
tend to be in the $240,000 to $300,000 range. Of course, certain specialties
can be considerably higher than the medians based on need and demand for a
particular specialty,” states Dr. Valentine.
to Dr. Valentine, the best plan of action is to determine what primary care and
specialty physicians you need to serve your community and develop a plan to
recruit and retain those physicians. Consider all factors of a search project
including supply, demand and compensation issues before embarking on a search
and your ability to recruit and retain the right physician for your community
will be much greater.