Rising Demand for Physicians and APPs into 2024

As the demand for healthcare services intensifies, physicians and advanced practitioners are poised for substantial employment growth in 2024 and beyond, primarily driven by a growing and aging population.

Physician Employment Projections:

The overall employment of physicians is expected to grow an average of 3% until 2032, leading to an estimated 24,200 job openings annually until 2032.

The anticipated employment levels for physicians differ across various occupations. For instance, the increasing demand for psychiatric care and enhanced accessibility to mental health services will drive the need for psychiatrists. Additionally, rising rates of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, will sustain a continued dependence on physicians and surgeons as a significant number of individuals seek medical attention.

Fastest-Growing Physician Specialties:

Here are the top physician specialties expecting to see the highest percent employment change by 2031:

  1. Psychiatrist: 8.7%
  2. Pathologist: 4.5%
  3. Radiologist: 3.7%
  4. Surgeon: 3.4%
  5. Emergency Medicine: 3.3%
  6. Family Medicine: 3.3%

Advanced Practitioner Employment Projections:

The job outlook for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is anticipated to grow 38% until 2032. This notable growth is reflected in an annual projection of 29,200 job openings each year, exceeding the average pace observed across all occupations. Physicians Assistants can expect a 27% employment growth by 2032, with 12,200 job openings projected annually.

The expansion of team-based healthcare models and state allowances for procedures and autonomy are anticipated to propel advanced practitioners into an expanded healthcare role. These factors collectively contribute to the increasing prominence of advanced practitioners in the healthcare landscape.

Fastest-Growing Advanced Practitioner Types:

Here are the top advanced practitioner types expecting to see the highest percent employment change by 2032:

  1. Nurse Practitioners: 45%
  2. Physician Assistants: 27%
  3. CRNAs: 9%
  4. Nurse Midwives: 6%

Both physicians and advanced practitioners are set for substantial employment growth in 2024 and beyond. This surge in demand is likely to further elevate the need for locum tenens providers into 2024.

Retail Clinics: Expanding Job Opportunities

In the last five years, we have seen a 200% surge in the utilization of retail clinics, with industry giants like CVS Health, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, and Amazon leading the charge. In 2024, this trend is expected to gain further momentum, with an increasing number of retail clinics entering the healthcare space.

Growing Primary Care Demand:

The average wait time for a primary care provider stretched to 26 days last year. Compounding this issue, by 2035, the U.S. could see a potential deficit of 14,000 primary care physicians.

Qualified advanced practitioners are typically key members of the retail clinic teams, actively helping to be part of the primary care shortage solution. In 2024, primary care providers will continue to be in demand, and locum tenens will play a crucial role in ensuring healthcare remains accessible and responsive to the evolving needs of the community.

Increasing Job Options:

The growing footprint of retail clinics, especially in primary care, opens up a broader array of job opportunities for both physicians and advanced practitioners. Exploring locum tenens positions emerges as a compelling avenue to experience and assess the dynamics of retail clinic environments, offering not only valuable insights but also enhanced compensation.

The surge in retail clinic utilization is set to continue into 2024, which will lead to expanded locum tenens opportunities and increased demand for physician and advanced practitioner services.

AI in Healthcare: A 2024 Perspective for Physicians

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is impacting healthcare by providing innovative solutions to enhance diagnosis, treatment, and overall patient care. Looking ahead, 42% of physicians feel enthusiastic about AI’s future roles in the workplace.

In 2024, physicians and advanced practitioners can expect AI to play an increasingly significant role in various aspects of their jobs, such as:

Administrative Efficiency: AI streamlines administrative tasks, such as appointment scheduling, billing, and medical coding, allowing physicians and advanced practitioners to allocate more time to patient care. This not only enhances efficiency but also contributes to reducing burnout rates.

Diagnostic Support: AI-powered tools aid physicians in interpreting medical imaging, pathology slides, diagnostic tests, and more, leading to faster and more accurate diagnoses. This improves patient outcomes and allows physicians to focus on more complex aspects of patient care.

Personalized Treatment Plans: AI algorithms can analyze vast datasets to identify patterns and predict individual patient responses to specific treatments. Physicians can utilize this information to tailor treatment plans, optimize therapeutic outcomes, and minimize adverse effects.

AI in Medical Practices

As healthcare facilities continue to implement AI in 2024, it will enable physicians and advanced practitioners to enhance efficiency, reduce burnout, and deliver more personalized patient care.


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