Which Medical Roles Are Facing the Greatest Physician Shortages?

As the healthcare industry continues to undergo many changes, there’s no denying that some serious physician shortages are on the horizon. However, there are certain medical roles that will face greater shortages than others, resulting in the need for more locum tenens physicians in various capacities. While there are staffing shortages in all healthcare sectors, here are some of the medical roles expected to have the greatest physician shortages over the next decade:

Cardiology Physicians

Cardiology is one of the biggest areas of medicine that currently has a major shortage – and one that’s expected to worsen. With a growing demand for cardiologists in noninvasive cardiology, invasive cardiology, and interventional cardiology, among other subsets of the specialty, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has reported a shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034. This could have a staggering effect on cardiology departments in all types of facilities, especially as the elderly population continues to require cardiology services at a rapid rate.

Urology Physicians

Urology is another area of medicine that is struggling to keep up with patient demands. According to the American Urological Association (AUA), 30 percent of the urology workforce is over 65 years old and growing urology shortages are currently worse in rural areas. As shortages continue to impact patient care, many urologists are hiring more nurse practitioners and physician assistants to assist with growing patient volume. Like the cardiology shortage, an aging population in the U.S. is heavily contributing to the urology physician shortage.

General Internal Medicine Physicians

The number of general internal medicine physicians, doctors who provide a wide range of diagnostic and preventive health services, has declined dramatically in recent years. It’s been reported that fewer doctors are choosing internal medicine as a specialty for various reasons, including inadequate compensation, work-life balance concerns, and documentation pressures. This trend is projected to have a severe impact on the aging population, resulting in the need to attract more residents to careers in general internal medicine.

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