Rural areas have a serious physician supply problem, with one in six surgical positions going unfilled, according to a recent survey by TimeLine Recruiting, a physician recruitment firm based in Columbia, Mo.
"We hear the concerns of America's rural healthcare facilities daily," TimeLine CEO Van Allen says in a release. "We wanted to quantify their collective concerns so that we could be more effective in our support of rural healthcare."
"What this trend does not reflect is the advancing average age of physicians in the United States, particularly in rural healthcare," Allen adds. "That will result in a more rapid exodus of physicians from the industry as more and more doctors reach retirement age."
According to TimeLine, the specialties most in demand in rural areas, and the percentage of hospitals and clinics searching for them, are orthopedic surgery (41%), urology (26%), gynecology (22%), cardiology (16%), otolaryngology (13%), gastroenterology (13%) and neurosurgery (11%).