What Type of Medical Practice Has the Greatest Shortage of Physicians?

What Type of Medical Practice Has the Greatest Shortage of Physicians?

Physician shortages have been affecting America’s healthcare for decades. It is a widespread problem and contributes to limited patient access, worse patient care, increased physician burnout, and other issues.

The alarming thing is that the demand for physicians is only expected to grow as the aging population requires more medical assistance. So, read on to learn about the shortage of physicians and what practices are affected the most.

The Types of Physicians Needed in the US

Training physicians takes 12 to 15 years, which is why we should address the shortages right away if we want to have a better picture in the future. In 2019, data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) showed that the US could face a shortage of up to 122,000 physicians by 2032. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers are probably even higher.

Here are the most in-demand specialties.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care doctors are the first contact for patients. They provide family, pediatric, and geriatric care, and the estimates show that by 2034, we may have a shortage of up to 48,000 primary physicians.

Primary care physicians are vital to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries and refer patients to other specialists when they need advanced care.

Surgical Specialists

Whether they focus on general surgery or a specialty such as orthopedic surgery, these medical professionals are highly demanded. The estimates show that we may face a shortage of up to 30,000 experts with surgical specialties in the following decade.

Emergency Physicians

We are still struggling with the COVID pandemic, which has put the medical system under enormous strain. Emergency physicians need to provide specialized emergency care to patients in life-threatening situations.

Emergency physicians need to be quick thinkers and provide snap decisions referring to diagnosis and the best way to stabilize patients. This specialty brings a lot of stress but is also very rewarding. 


Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental health, behavioral, and emotional disorders. Since the pandemic started, we’ve seen a significant deterioration in public mental health. Pair that with a considerable number of psychiatrists reaching retirement age and smaller interest in psychiatry by medical students, and you get a specialty in great shortage.

What Medical Practices Face the Greatest Physician Shortage?

All medical practices face physician shortages, from small primary care facilities to extensive hospital-based systems. Of course, the most significant deficiency occurs in hospitals in rural areas, as it is challenging to convince young medical professionals to move to these locations. Most of them choose to relocate to big cities with more opportunities to advance their careers.

How to Find Qualified Physicians?

If you run or work for a medical practice looking to hire quality physicians, you might find this task more difficult than you expected. However, a professional consulting agency like Peregrine Healthcare can help. We offer a range of services to make your life easier and find you the right professionals. Feel free to contact us to learn more.

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