Cutting Through the Noise: Is it Harder to Recruit a Physician in 2024?

One of the biggest challenges to the healthcare system in America is that of physician recruitment. In the last decade, demand for services provided by professional healthcare staff has soared – in part due to an aging population, but also due to population growth. 

Challenges created by the global health crisis of the last few years have further exacerbated this, and as a result, there are some concerns that it is getting more difficult to recruit physicians in 2024. How true is this? 

Staffing shortages are real

Many clinics and healthcare facilities are faced with staffing shortages and the need to fill positions quickly. Using a reliable and high-quality medical recruitment agency such as should take a lot of the stress and pressure off such a situation and mean that vacancies can be filled by trusted professionals as quickly as possible. 

On average, it’s estimated that the current time to fill a physician’s position through regular pathways is on average 49 days. For other industries in America, that reduces to 36 days, so there is an obvious disparity. 

Increased demand for specifically trained physician roles

There are always going to be roles within the healthcare sector that are going to be more challenging to fill than others. Certain specializations such as psychiatrists and psychologists have high turnover, plus physicians who specialize in different surgical interventions or offer geriatric care can experience greater demand for their skills – early training and recruitment are essential, and some experts are saying it should start in high school!

Positions like the ones mentioned above often require longer training, and increased knowledge and have more demanding workloads, hence the higher turnover of staff. Physician work is often shift-based too, which can impact all aspects of life – especially for those with younger families or who are perhaps coming to the end of their careers and want to lessen their workload. 

A circular healthcare problem

The lack of qualified physicians and other healthcare staff means that patients must wait longer for their care – this can lead to longer waits for appointments that then potentially raise concerns over simple conditions getting much worse before they get appropriate treatment. 

Physicians then often have less time to spend with each patient, which can lead to a compromise in their care. There is now more time than ever spent on admin tasks, which can more often than not be outsourced to other staff to manage. 

The extra work can lead to earlier burnout and time off sick for physicians – which then negatively affects patient care again. It’s a circular problem that presents many challenges and issues. One of the main ways to solve this is to use decent quality recruitment agency staff who can be hired quickly, have all the appropriate safety checks in place, and can provide emergency relief to understaffed clinics that urgently need help. 

Taking a proactive approach to recruiting and hiring can make a huge difference to healthcare providers and patients. From ensuring professionals are properly remunerated for their work to improving physician recruitment flow. There are challenges ahead but they can be well managed with the right agency on hand to assist. 

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