WHAT MEDICAL SPECIALTIES ARE MOST IN DEMAND FOR 2021?
Physician shortages are nothing new. Globally there is a growing demand for highly trained physicians to meet patient needs. Medical students often wonder whether the specialty they dream of is in demand, or in other words, will they have their choice of locations and jobs once they graduate. And while all types of doctors are in demand, some specialties are more so. But before we talk about what specialties are most in demand for 2021, let’s examine the physician shortage across the board and by specialty area.
HOW BAD WILL THE SHORTAGES BE?
As I mentioned before, some specialties are more in demand than others. But regardless of specialty, there is a shortage of physicians in all categories. If you happen to choose a specialty in which the demand is not as great, there is no reason to worry. It simply means you may have to be geographically more flexible in where you go to for work. After all, have you ever heard of an unemployed physician? In fact, the American Association of Medical Colleges (June 2020) predicts that there will be a shortage of as many as 139,000 physicians in the US by 2033.
So, let’s look at that shortage by specialty area.
Primary care, which includes family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics will see the largest shortfall, with there being a need for an additional 55,200 primary care specialists by 2033.
Surgical specialties are close behind with a shortage of around 28,700 physicians by the same time. This is followed closely by medical subspecialties, such as cardiology or nephrology, which will see a need for an additional 17,800 doctors by 2033. Finally, we see a growing demand for specialties in areas like pathology, radiology, and psychiatry, which could be as high as needing an additional 41,900 doctors by 2033.
As you can see, no matter what area you specialize in, there will be a demand for you once you graduate from residency.
SO, WHAT SPECIALTIES ARE MOST IN DEMAND FOR 2021?
According to a June 2021 report by a prominent physician recruitment firm, there continues to be a high demand for the following specialties, even in the midst of the pandemic:
1. Family Medicine – top of the list, and one which foreign medical graduates can secure!
2. Psychiatry – a growing field, and also readily achievable by foreign medical graduates.
3. Internal medicine – particularly high demand for outpatient internists. Hospitalist demand continues to be present, but not as strong as outpatient internal medicine.
4. Geriatrics – fellowships in this field are offered to internists and family physicians, and with the ageing population are in demand.
5. Rheumatology – a subspecialty of internal medicine of pediatrics, this is a field in which there is a chronic shortage of physicians, and which will only get worse with the ageing population.
READY TO START YOUR CAREER?
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