5 Doctor Specialties Facing Shortages

OCTOBER 09, 2014
Jared Kaltwasser
It’s no secret that doctors will be in high demand in the coming years. Baby Boomers are retiring and expected to consume more healthcare as they age. The country’s working-age population, meanwhile, isn’t growing fast enough to keep up.
The projected healthcare labor shortage is highlighted in a new report by The Conference Board, titled “From Not Enough Jobs to Not Enough Workers.”
“Companies in the US, Europe, and elsewhere must begin planning now for an environment in which difficulties recruiting and retaining workers will make it significantly harder to control labor costs without losing labor quality,” Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at The Conference Board, and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement.
The problem is acute in the healthcare industry. In addition to all those Baby Boomers, millions of Americans are now enrolled in health insurance for the first time as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Those newly insured patients will be on the lookout for doctors. Meanwhile, the barriers to entering many medical professions remain high, both academically and financially.
The report includes a couple of important caveats. First, America’s projected labor shortage is about average when compared to Europe, where Germany is expected to face the biggest shortfall. Also, the numbers are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections that labor market growth will accelerate in the next few years. If that fails to materialize, the shortages could be less severe.
If things go as researchers expect, the 5 specialties on the next page will likely be in high demand.

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