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Shortage of Physicians = Shortage of Ophthalmologists? Maybe...It depends where you're located.

the right candidate 2

According to an article published in March of 2017, by the AAMC, Association of American Medical Colleges the continued shortage of physicians in the U.S. could be highest between 2025 and 2030. What does this mean for practices who need to hire an ophthalmologist?

The article goes on to say, "Research Shows Shortage of More than 100,000 Doctors by 2030. The United States will face a significant shortage of physicians fueled by population growth, an increase in the number of aging Americans, and retirement of practicing doctors."

So what does this mean for ophthalmology practices who are looking to find and hire great future employees or partners?  How hard hit will these employers be?  Will we see more residency programs popping up to meet this demand or will we see existing residency programs accepting a hugher number of doctors to their training centers?  I do not know the answer, but I can offer some insight from an ophthalmology recruiters perspective.  In short, the market right now is heavily in favor of job-seeking ophthalmologists DEPENDING on where they wish to live and work.  If they want to live and work in a large U.S. city they might find it challenging to secure a good opportunity with good long-term potential.  On the flip-side, if you're a young or experienced ophthalmologist and you're willing to look an hour or two outside of major metropolitan areas the pictures changes dramatically.

Here's a snippet from an actual conversation I had with an ophthalmologist I know in the great city of San Francisco.

A practice owner in San Francisco told me he was recruiting an ophthalmologist for his group. He posted his position on the AAO.  "How many resumes did you get?" I asked.  "Over one hundred...I quit counting.".

"Wow!" I learned that in less than 90 days he had been flooded with so many CV's that he quit counting.

Other areas of the country aren't so fortunate- Not by a long-shot. I, along with several other big-brand ophthalmology recruiters have worked on many of the same positions.  We each have a different take on careers and the pros and cons of various positions, but our goals are similar.  Match the right physician with the right position.  We are recruiters who work every day networking to find a great candidate, available at the right time, with the ideal skill set and experience for a practice in a particular location.

In this particular recruitment scenario, where multiple agencies were involved, we each had very little success.  This went on for years!  And, it really was a good opportunity.  The practice was a wonderful, growing organization.  They had a beautiful building and a medical architect had desinged their ASC.  The owner is a very nice, easy to work with doctor.  She has a wonderful (I am not overstating this- I know her well) personality.  The practice was backlogged- the need was legitimate and growing.  They had the best reputation in the region and their patients really did love them.

So...what about Ophthalmology Candidates- Any candidates?

Cricket Noise.

Why- You ask.  She is not in San Francisco.  She is in New England in a low congestion area- It's not crowded- Her practice isn't in a large, metro area AND it's cold in the winter.

Good opportunity with an ethical ophthalmologist and a great reputation-- yet, doctors did not want that location and it took years, not months to find a good match for her--- Thankfully a great match was found!

Here's the moral of the story.

If you're a group with a good reputation in San Francisco or Dallas, Houston, Philly, Seattle or any number of the other big metro areas you will find a great doctor match with little real effort and you'll do it reasonable quickly.  It might be as simple as placing an ad on the AAO- Your real problem will be how to deal with all the applications and CV's and narrow down your search to the best long-term ophthalmologist for your team and ethos.

But, if you're further than an hour or an hour and a half from a large metro area, it will be much, much more difficult to find a good fit for your opportunity.  The problem is much more challenging for solo practices.

In these cases, whether you work with a recruiter or not, just know that you should start recruiting early and be prepared to put a lot of time, energy and money into your own recruitment efforts.  Investing in your "Human Capital" is the best long-term investment you can make because People Really Matter.

If you'd like to talk with us about a good recruitment game plan for your practice, no matter where you're located, send us a note or give us a call:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   828.514.9419

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Here's a link to the AAMC News article cited in this blog post:  https://news.aamc.org/medical-education/article/new-aamc-research-reaffirms-looming-physician-shor/


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