Physician job growth varies greatly by region, report finds
- A new report by Doximity projects physician jobs in the U.S. will grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026, but notes a physician shortage still looms and there is a mismatch between where doctors are available and where they are needed.
- The medical social network analyzed demand for doctors on its physician recruitment platform in 2016 and 2017. The rate of job growth varied widely, from 72% in Boston to 1% in Los Angeles.
- Meanwhile, seven of the 10 top-paying jobs in 2017 were in healthcare, including five of the sixth highest-paying overall, a new CareerCast report shows.
Grabbing the No. 1 compensation spot is general surgeon with a median annual salary of $409,665. Second is orthodontist, at $208,000. Rounding out the top 10 list of highest-paying jobs were:
- Psychiatrist - $194,740
- General practice physician - $190,490
- Senior corporate executive - $181,210
- Dentist - $153,900
- Petroleum engineer - $128,230
- Podiatrist - $124,830
- Air traffic controller - $122,410
- Pharmacist - $122,230
According to Doximity, growth in physician compensation is generally ticking upward, ranging from 16% in San Francisco to 7% in Boston. Six cities — Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle — were among the top 10 for both pay and job growth.
However, some cities have seen declines. Physicians in Phoenix, for example, saw pay scales drop by 9%. While not asserting a cause, the report notes recent payer exits from the ACA exchange, pressures from accountable care organizations and similar value-based providers, and hospital acquisitions of physician practices as possible influences.
Health services employment continued to trend up in November, led by ambulatory services, which added 25,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physician offices and home healthcare services each added 7,000 jobs, while outpatient care centers added 4,000. Less bullish were hospitals, with just 2,000 new jobs — in line with a gradual slowdown in hiring since 2016, the agency notes.
The Association of American Medical Colleges projects the physician shortage could reach 105,000 by 2030. Fueling the issue is the retirement of baby boomer practitioners, burdensome regulations and administrative burnout, among other things. Uncertainty around the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could also impact the future supply of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Given the rapid graying of the U.S. population, it is not surprising that the specialty in most demand is geriatrics, with 164% job growth. Other in-demand specialties include urology (49%), oncology (45%), hematology (39%) and obstetrics/gynecology (31%).
- CareerCast The Highest Paying Jobs of 2017