Articles & Research


Demand for Specialist Physicians 
Continues to Outpace Primary Care

The 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.  

“Although 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 maintenance mode.  This has freed up resources to focus efforts on growing and maturing specialty areas,” continues Dr. Valentine.  

“Our recruitment mix is approximately forty percent primary care and sixty percent specialty searches, compared to just the opposite two years ago,” says Dr. Valentine. 

The 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. 

Compensation growth for specialists has continued to increase at a higher percentage than primary care over the last few years.  

Based 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%. 

“This 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. 

According 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.


  For more information about this and other topics of interest, please contact 

MD Network
 (800) 705-7055  
 Source: MD Network Research


  About us
  Career Guidance
  Related Links

  Articles & Research

  Submit C.V.
  E-Mail Us


MD Network, Inc.