Primary care shortage and physician recruiters

I received this email from a physician recruiter, and it provides another perspective on how difficult it is to find primary care doctors. I didn’t have much to offer, as she has an accurate read on the grim situation.

I just stumbled across your blog and am very impressed with the information you provided in reference to the physician shortages and IM residents going into almost anything but traditional internal medicine practices.

I am a Senior Physician Recruiter and I have seen this first hand. Almost all Internal Medicine residents we encounter are most interested in Hospitalist medicine. I find they are most attracted to these positions because they allow the flexibility of working in block schedules of 7 days on and 7 days off with no call on their days off and higher paying salaries than an Internist practice would generate in their first year.

We have seen a rapid growth in the number of available positions in Primary Care. [My company] has nearly tripled their openings in Primary Care in the last three years. I only work in this industry and am very familiar with the shortages we are facing. Aside from Internal Medicine and Hospitalists, I also recruit Urgent Care and Family Practice Physicians.

What advice could you provide to a Primary Care Recruiter that is trying to fill over 120 jobs? What is the best way to get in touch with physicians that are actively looking to make a career change? I know how busy physicians are and that they get hundreds of calls from recruiters and are often too busy to get back to them.

However, my clients are still begging me for physicians. Any advice you could provide would be very much appreciated.