Most In-Demand Medical Specialties for 2024 and Beyond

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Most In-Demand Medical Specialties for 2024 and Beyond

08 May, 2024

As we navigate the changing dynamics of healthcare, certain medical specialties have become crucial due to demographic shifts, technological progress, and evolving health needs. This post, as part of our continued Academic Med Insights Series, offers a detailed look at the most in-demand specialties, providing specific statistics and exploring how these trends are influencing recruitment practices.

1. Family Medicine (Projected Shortage of 17,800 to 48,000 Physicians by 2034)

Family medicine is essential, with family physicians conducting nearly 192 million office visits annually — more than any other specialty. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) underscores the significant projected shortage, which highlights the pressing need for practitioners in this field.

2. Psychiatry (50% of U.S. Counties Lack a Single Psychiatrist)

Mental health services are critically underserved, with a significant portion of the country lacking adequate psychiatric care. This shortage is exacerbated by a 22% increase in job postings for psychiatrists over the past five years, reflecting growing demand.

3. Geriatrics (Need for 30,000 Geriatricians for the Aging Population)

With over 54 million Americans aged 65 and older, the demand for geriatric care specialists far exceeds the current supply of about 7,300 certified geriatricians. The American Geriatrics Society emphasizes the need for a substantial increase in trained professionals in this specialty.

4. Telemedicine (38% Increase in Utilization Since 2020)

Telemedicine has become a $70 billion industry globally, fueled by its effectiveness in treating chronic conditions and expanding access to healthcare in rural and underserved areas. Its rapid growth continues to transform healthcare delivery.

5. Emergency Medicine (18% Increase in Demand Over the Past Two Years)

Emergency medicine specialists are more crucial than ever, particularly as the frequency and severity of public health emergencies and natural disasters increase. The specialty has seen significant growth in demand, as reported by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

6. Oncology (29.5 Million Global New Cancer Cases Projected by 2040)

The rising prevalence of cancer, particularly among the aging population, is driving a surge in demand for oncologists. This trend is coupled with advancements in cancer treatment and increasing survival rates, necessitating more specialized care.

7. Pediatrics (Projected Shortage of Up to 8,000 Pediatricians by 2034)

The field of pediatrics is vital for addressing the healthcare needs of over 73 million U.S. children. Despite its importance, there is a looming shortage of pediatricians, which could impact care delivery significantly.

8. Neurology (6.2 Million Americans with Alzheimer’s, Expected to Double by 2050)

Neurological disorders are becoming more common, particularly among seniors, with a dramatic projected increase in Alzheimer’s cases. This sharp rise underscores the growing need for neurologists specializing in age-related cognitive disorders.

Implications for Recruitment

These critical trends influence recruitment strategies, with healthcare institutions increasingly offering competitive salaries and benefits to attract specialists. For example, average starting salaries for psychiatrists and neurologists have risen to $273,000 and $301,000, respectively. Recruitment now also focuses on retention strategies, such as flexible working conditions and professional development opportunities, to meet the growing healthcare demands effectively.

Let’s Collaborate!

We’re thrilled about the opportunity to partner with you at Academic Med! Whether you’re aiming to recruit top talent or you’re a physician in search of new opportunities, we are ready to support you. Specializing in executive physician recruitment, we take pride in our history of matching outstanding physicians with leading academic and medical centers. Visit our physician recruitment services page to see our achievements and find out how we can help you secure the ideal candidate or position.

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