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Physician Job Outlook

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS - JOB OUTLOOK

Physicians and Surgeons Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 18 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will occur because of the continued expansion of healthcare-related industries. The growing and aging population is expected to drive overall growth in the demand for physician services as consumers continue to seek high levels of care that uses the latest technologies, diagnostic tests, and therapies. Some medical schools are increasing their enrollments on the basis of a perceived higher demand for physicians.

Although the demand for physicians and surgeons should continue, some factors will likely reduce growth. New technologies will allow physicians to treat more patients in the same amount of time, thereby reducing the number of physicians who would be needed to complete the same tasks. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners can do many of the routine duties of physicians and may be used to reduce costs at hospitals and outpatient care facilities.

Demand for physicians' services is sensitive to changes in healthcare reimbursement policies. Consumers may demand fewer physician services if changes to health coverage result in higher out-of-pocket costs for them. However, federal health legislation will expand the number of patients who have access to health insurance, increasing patient access to medical care. Such access will in turn increase demand for the services of physicians and surgeons.

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be good for physicians who are willing to practice in rural and low-income areas, because these areas tend to have difficulty attracting physicians. Job prospects also should be good for physicians in specialties dealing with health issues that largely affect aging baby boomers. For example, physicians specializing in cardiology and radiology will be needed because the risks for heart disease and cancer increase as people age.

Employment projections data for veterinarians, 2012-22

Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22
Percent Numeric
Physicians and surgeons 29-1060 691,400 814,700 18 123,300
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program
Create Date: 02-20-2014
Source:
http://www.bls.gov