Physician searches go unfilled as shortage rises

America's physician shortage is on the rise, affecting recruitment and retention, according to one new study

The finding is from an Oct. 24 report from the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment, which annually examines benchmarks related to healthcare provider recruitment, onboarding and retention.

A total of 153 member health organizations of AAPPR (providing data for 644 internal physician recruiters and more than 19,200 searches) participated in the study, which is based on calendar year 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 24,000 open searches last year, meaning data from the report represents more than three-quarters of physician searches nationwide.

Five findings from the report: 

1. The median number of active physician searches per year more than doubled from 2017 (53) to 2022 (110). 

2. Last year marked the fifth straight year in which the percentage of physician searches filled decreased despite the number of active searches rising.

3. Forty-seven percent of physician searches and 26% of advanced practice provider searches were still open at the end of 2022.

4. Primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine and hospital medicine accounted for more than a quarter of all searches in 2022.

5. Plastic surgery, geriatrics and ophthalmology were among the positions least likely to be filled last year.

Read more about the report here.

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