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Family physicians are most in-demand doctors

August 29 2013

Family physicians top the list of the most highly recruited doctors for the seventh consecutive year, according to a report released this week by Merritt Hawkins, the physician search division of AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS). Merritt Hawkins’ 2013 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting tracks the 3,097 recruiting assignments the firm conducted from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013.                 

Physicians specializing in general internal medicine were second on the list, also for the seventh year in a row.

“The new mantra in healthcare is to be ‘everywhere, all the time,’” said Merritt Hawkins President Mark Smith. “This means reaching into communities with a growing number of free-standing facilities or other sites that are convenient and accessible. These facilities have one thing in common — they all need primary care physicians.”

Healthcare facilities nationwide also are gearing up to meet the enhanced demand for primary care physicians that will begin in 2014 when millions of people obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Demand for primary care physicians is further driven by their perceived role as the “quarterbacks” of the healthcare team who are responsible for enhancing quality and reducing costs, two hallmarks of healthcare delivery in the post-reform era, according to Smith.

The 10 most requested physician searches by medical specialty from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013:

  1. Family medicine (includes FB/OB): 624
  2. Internal medicine: 194
  3. Hospitalist: 178
  4. Psychiatry: 168
  5. Emergency medicine: 111
  6. Pediatrics: 87
  7. OB/GYN: 77
  8. General surgery: 74
  9. Neurology: 71
  10. Nurse practitioner: 69

Demand for some medical specialists has decreased. Radiology, which was Merritt Hawkins’ most requested specialty in 2001, 2002, and 2003 did not make the list of Merritt Hawkins’ top 20 most requested specialties in 2013. Anesthesiology, formerly a top recruiting assignment, also did not make the list.

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