The Healthcare Talent Shortage: Part 1

Oct 06, 2022

The Current Situation

Like many industries in 2022, healthcare is experiencing a talent shortage. A years-long pandemic and a stressed healthcare system are continuing to alter the way the industry operates and quickening the pace of the need to hire practitioners. Unfortunately, the healthcare professionals needed to fill integral positions just aren’t there. 

While technological advancement is almost always positive, the need to adapt to meet new expectations can be challenging. It’s especially hard when it comes to staffing. In fact, a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), found that 46% of HR professionals found it “very difficult” to fill full-time roles for high-skilled medical positions. 

While it stands to reason that rapidly accelerating tech and a pandemic stressed an already overwhelmed healthcare system, the answer to the shortage is more complex. Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s causing the shortage and how we might solve it. 

Supply, Demand, and The Baby Boomers

The demand for high-skilled healthcare professionals is outpacing the supply of healthcare professionals. Why? The Baby Boomer generation is aging and creating a two-part challenge.

First, an overwhelming amount of physicians are actually of the Baby Boomer generation. As they retire, they are leaving positions open. However, there aren’t enough qualified candidates with the experience, training, and education needed to take their place because A.) Generation X has a significantly smaller pool of available professionals and B.) Millennials, while the largest generation to enter the workforce since the Baby Boomers, still lack the needed experience. 

Second, Baby Boomer patients are proving to cause significant strain on the healthcare system because they need more healthcare services. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the U.S. population 65+ will increase by nearly 50% from 2015 to 2029, and a significant portion of that demographic is not as healthy as previous generations. While their life expectancy is longer, they suffer from higher rates of life-threatening issues like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

With the two-pronged challenge presented by the Baby Boomers, the next generation of healthcare workers has its hands full. 

Burnout and Low Recruitment

With professional burnout becoming more prevalent in the healthcare industry, young people are finding themselves turning away from the field as a viable career option. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that the U.S. will be short 130,000+ physicians by 2025 and this is due partly because physicians aren’t recommending the gig. With burnout, poor work-life balance, and stressed hospital systems, it isn’t hard to see why. 

As the industry sees an increase in need, a decrease in applicants, a lack of real-world, on-the-job experience among existing applicants, and a pervasive fear of burning out, what are HR recruiters in the healthcare field to do? 

The Solution 

The healthcare talent shortage is complex and multi-faceted, however, it isn’t hopeless. Finding high-quality physicians with specialized skills, experience, and qualifications is possible – it just requires some assistance. Stay tuned for our next post in this series where we dive into the steps you can take to retain great talent and avoid a shortage at your facility. 


Recruiters, Physicians, Nurses


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Now that we've fed you the veggies, how about some good news? Once you matched into a residency program, the general salary for a first-year resident is $52.5K. Though you may not be jumping out of your shoes, there are many programs available beyond your initial salary that can help you chip away at those lingering debts. For example, a ten-year plan would pan out to about $2,000 per month in payments (with $182K in loans). 

Solution number one is to finance your debts through a private lender. This could provide you with a lower interest rate, but you’ll have to pre-qualify first via few factors, including your credit as well as your current income. Solution number two is to consider working for an organization in a state that offers a student loan assistance program. Though it varies by area, certain states can knock away a considerable piece of those loans in just a few years. In Texas, the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program offers up to $160K for over four years of practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). In New York, Doctors Across New York provides an additional payment of up to $150K over a five-year commitment to doctors practicing in underserved areas.

The student loan forgiveness state programs are a valuable resource, and should be taken into serious consideration when deciding on a destination and facility of choice. Perhaps you’re thinking of immediate relief, or more of a short-term solution. To be honest, that is not really feasible with $200K in debt. But, when negotiating your “dream” role, it is important to use that as an opportunity to obtain a possible sign-on bonus as well as relocation assistance to help ease the burden, at least temporarily. Keeping a positive mind-set, and considering all possible solutions, can help you achieve your goals of financial growth and stability as a physician.

28 Jan 2020
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Digital Marketing is an action. And not just a single action, but an ongoing, evolving action that empowers you to spend your marketing dollars as efficiently as possible. The first step is putting a piece of content online. What transforms this into digital marketing is the data.

Imagine you see an online job posting. You’re pleased with your current employer, but if a better opportunity presented itself, you’d be interested. In this case, you see a job with a great company and it would cut your commute time in half. You click on the listing, quickly scan it over, make a mental note to return to it later, and move on with your day. 

We all know what happens next: you completely forget you ever saw it. We all see thousands of ads per day. The odds of your one ad being remembered are slim. This is where digital marketing steps in. Remember the job listing you clicked on and forgot about? Since you engaged with the ad, you’ll eventually see a similar ad again. 

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30 Jan 2020
How To Avoid Being a Job Hopper

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Before transitioning from one position to the next, ask yourself this: How long have I worked at this facility and how long was I at my previous job?

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  • If you have worked with several employers, and have only been at each for a year or less, that may bring up concerns from future employers.
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Ask yourself why this position is not working out for you, is it because of salary, hours, or location? What position are you wanting to transition into and why? Carrying on from why you are leaving your previous position for another; what are you seeking to improve or gain more experience in?

Hopefully by identifying your job history and maintaining a balance when transitioning from one job to another, you should have no problem in avoiding job-hopping.