The Top Recruited Specialties

Family physicians are in high demand and are the most highly recruited doctors for the seventh year running with generalists coming in a close second.

Family physicians are in high demand and are the most highly recruited doctors, yet again, according to a survey.

The Merritt Hawkins’ 2013 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives revealed that for the seventh year in a row, family physicians are more recruited than any other type of doctor. In second were physicians specializing in general medicine.

Merritt Hawkins president Mark Smith credits the continuous high demand of primary care doctors to the increasing number of health care service sites.

"The new mantra in health care is to be ‘everywhere, all the time,’” Smith said in a statement. “This means reaching into communities with a growing number of free-standing facilities or other sites that are convenient and accessible. These facilities have one thing in common — they all need primary care physicians.”

Furthermore, health care facilities realize that the demand for primary care physicians will only increase in 2014 when millions of new patients enter the system through the Affordable Care Act. According to Smith, even with the shift to health care teams, primary care physicians are so important because they are viewed as the “quarterbacks.”

Primary care physicians aren’t the only ones in high demand — Merritt Hawkins’ survey indicated that physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are being sought out more. For the first time in 20 years, PAs and NPs made it into the top 20 most recruited specialties.