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September 5, 2013

The nation's most in-demand specialties

Daily Briefing

Primary care physicians are the most highly recruited health care providers for the seventh straight year, according to physician staffing firm Merritt Hawkinsannual review of physician recruitment and incentives.

For the review, Merritt Hawkins researchers studied data from more than 3,000 recruitment assignments conducted between April 2012 and March 2013 for a range of employers, including hospitals, medical groups, academic medical centers, and community clinics.

The most requested medical specialists

Merritt found that the most in-demand specialists were:
1. Family physicians;
2. General internists;
3. Hospitalists;
4. Psychiatrists;
5. ED physicians;
6. Pediatricians;
7. OB-GYNs;
8. General surgeons;
9. Neurologists; and
10. Nurse practitioners (NPs).

The demand for family physicians is driven by efforts to bring down costs and better coordinate care in the evolving health care landscape, according to Forbes' Bruce Japsen. They can treat patients in outpatient settings where medical costs are less expensive than hospitals, Japsen notes.

Meanwhile, some non-physician workers climbed up the Merritt Hawkins list last year:

  • NPs made the top 10 for the first time because of their ability to prescribe medications and staff retail clinics run by retailers such as Walgreen and CVS Caremark.
  • In addition, physician assistants ranked 12th on the list, knocking radiologists and anesthesiologists out of the top 20 (Merritt Hawkins review, August 2013; Japsen, Forbes, 8/31).
More from today's Daily Briefing
  1. Current ArticleThe nation's most in-demand specialties

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