04 Jan A Look at Physician Salaries Heading Into 2023
As we head into 2023, America continues to face increased demand and shortages of available physicians.
This shortage is not particularly new – but it means that job opportunities for doctors will continue to be plentiful in many areas of the country. When demand is high, salaries follow, and rising salaries in many physician specialties reflect this increased demand for doctors.
To prove the point, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13% through 2031. The high demand for physicians is leading to higher salaries in the industry. While COVID put a damper on physician salary increases as hospitals fought to stay afloat, earnings are again on the rise. While salaries and increases can vary depending on location, rising incomes are a positive trend for 2023.
Physician Shortages Predicted to Continue
It’s been documented that COVID ushered in a massive resignation of doctors, nurses and other medical support staff. Burnout from working on the front lines during the pandemic has driven many docs to move onto locum tenens positions, teaching or retirement.
By 2030, there will be a projected shortage of more than 100,000 doctors. Meanwhile as Baby Boomers and the population in general continues to age, the instances of chronic disease will grow and the level of medical care – as well as the need for GPs, PAs, and advanced specialists (Ex: cardiologists) – will increase. As America’s population ages and more physicians retire, the demand for medical care will rise while the number of physicians will fall. Healthcare organizations are caught in this new normal and will need to offer higher salaries to attract new physicians.
Salaries are Rising – Up to a Point
But with good salary news comes some not-so-good news. Inflation has outpaced physician salary growth for nearly half of all medical specialties over the past five years.
As we head into 2023, inflation is still running high and nagging price hikes and looming payment cuts have the potential of throwing a wet blanket over what otherwise appears to be unfettered salary growth. Time will tell, but as in most industries, the overall American economy will play a large part in dictating how much physician salaries actually rise.
But there are many ways to earn more money in 2023. For example there’s an opportunity to increase your income if you’re willing to live or work in remote or rural areas. Facilities in these states are typically underserved and often pay physicians more in salary or benefits in order to attract top talent.
However, if permanently relocating isn’t the right option for you, taking part-time or short-term assignments is another option! Locum tenens physicians can make up to 50% more than their traditional counterparts and pick and choose how much they want to work. That’s a nice pay increase any way you slice it!
The bottom line is, while it’s impossible to completely predict the future, today’s shortages will drive rising salaries in many physician specialties as the demand continues.
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