Unfilled Hospital Openings for Doctors Growing, Survey Finds

Shortages in hospitals also seen for advanced practitioners and nurses

THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The need for hospital physicians is growing, according to an article published Jan. 3 in Medical Economics.

As part of its 2013 Clinical Workforce Survey, the staffing firm AMN Healthcare surveyed hospital chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and other hospital executives.

According to the survey results, the physician vacancy rate at the surveyed hospitals increased from 10.7 percent in 2009 to 17.6 percent in 2013. More than three-quarters of respondents (78 percent) believed that there was a moderate to severe shortage of physicians nationwide. The Affordable Care Act, 65 percent of respondents said, will create an increased need to hire more physicians at their hospitals, as more patients enter the health care system. Despite these shortages, only 28 percent of respondents from teaching hospitals said they plan on adding additional residency positions, largely because of cost. Shortages also exist for advanced practitioners and for nurses.

"No matter what models of care are in place, it takes physicians, nurses and other clinicians to provide quality patient care, and the fact is we simply do not have enough of them," said AMN Healthcare's CEO Susan Salka, according to the Medical Economics article.

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