2019 Physician Recruiting Forecasts

2019 Physician Recruiting Forecasts

Physician shortages continue to be a major challenge facing healthcare organizations today. Aging Baby Boomers, retiring Physicians and increases in patient demand all contribute to further strains on an already taxed US healthcare system.‌ According to the AAMC's 2019 Update: Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand 2017-2032 report, America is projected to have a shortage of between 46,900 and 121,900 Physicians by 2032. This finding reflects a slight increase in estimates from previous years' research. While the findings are less than optimistic, the report did have some good news in regard to projections for the field of Hospital Medicine.

Primary Care Physician Projections

Recruiting Primary Care Physicians is challenging work. Many recruiters voice that there seem to be more vacancies than there are available Physicians to fill them. According to AAMC report findings, there is truth to this statement. By 2032, the number of projected Primary Care Physician shortages is expected to reach between 21,100 to 55,200 physicians. This shortfall creates even more challenges for those needing to fill medically underserved areas in need of Primary Care Physicians.

Surgical Physician Projections

The news is a little better for those on the surgical Physician recruiting front. Projected shortages in the number of Physicians working in surgical specialties by 2032 is expected to range between 14,300 to 23,400. These projections reflect a slight improvement from previous years estimates due to expected increases in surgical graduates and changes in data extrapolation techniques, according to the AAMC. These findings also help illustrate the significant differences in future shortage levels between the fields of surgery and Primary Care, with almost double the number of PCP shortages as compared to surgical Physicians.

Hospitalist Physician Projections

Organizations utilizing Hospitalists can rest easy knowing that future projections support a more robust supply of these Physician Specialists. Unlike many medical specialties, future numbers for Hospitalist Physicians are expected to exceed projected demands. AAMC projections suggest that by 2032, there will be an excess of between 10,900 and 12,700 Hospitalists in the workplace. This is good news for a specialty that has revolutionized hospital care and freed up more time for Primary Care Physicians to focus on patients at the clinic instead of the hospital.


* 2019 Update-Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2017-2032. April 2019. Association of American Medical Colleges. Accessed June 3, 2019.