Physician Recruitment: 6 Trends to Watch in 2024

Physician Recruitment: 6 Trends to Watch in 2024

Key Takeaways:

  • The growth of retail clinics presents new career opportunities for healthcare providers.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing healthcare and impacting recruitment strategies, including streamlining processes, enhancing efficiency, and alleviating burnout among healthcare professionals.
  • The rise in telehealth services necessitates a hybrid healthcare workforce, and offers physicians the flexibility they desire.
  • Despite a rise in medical school graduates, the shortage of physician residency slots poses recruitment challenges.
  • With a significant portion of physicians nearing retirement age, healthcare organizations must focus on talent retention and succession planning strategies.
  • The trend toward four-day work weeks offers benefits such as improved work-life balance and increased productivity, appealing to healthcare professionals and employers alike.

Recruitment marketing in healthcare remains an ongoing challenge for hiring professionals, as the dynamics of hiring in this industry are constantly in flux. The nature of many healthcare jobs, candidate expectations, and wages underwent dramatic changes with the advent of the pandemic in 2020, and health sector employment saw an uncharacteristic drop in hiring and employment that year.

However, despite these challenges, the healthcare sector has shown resilience and development. Job growth in healthcare averaged 55,000 per month in 2023, compared with the 2022 average monthly gain of 46,000. As of Jan. 2024, the unemployment rate for the healthcare sector stood at 2.4% (

Not all health sector employment areas have returned to pre-pandemic levels, however, and changing industry dynamics have impacted existing trends and given rise to novel trends. Two concerning stats when it comes to physicians are that twenty-six percent of physicians are considering leaving the profession for nonclinical careers, and ​​40% of physicians indicated they were considering making the switch in the next two to three years.

At present, hiring for physicians and advanced practice providers is being significantly impacted by factors such as the growth of retail clinics, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) for personalized care, the rise of a hybrid healthcare workforce, limitations in physician residency slots, the impending surge in physician retirements, and the trending preference for four-day work weeks. This article will examine these trends, providing insights and strategies for hiring professionals who want to stay ahead of the game in provider recruitment.


1. Expanding Provider Career Opportunities in Retail Clinics

Retail clinics have emerged as a significant force in the healthcare sector, with their footprint set to expand even further in 2024. This healthcare paradigm is represented by clinics located inside of retail outlets, such as supermarkets and department stores. These clinics are a convenient way for patients to visit a walk-in healthcare clinic, and are part of a broader industry category called convenient care clinics (CCCs). This expansion translates into a wealth of job opportunities for healthcare providers looking to diversify their careers, since retail clinics are growing steadily in popularity.

In response to a shortage of physicians, retail clinics are increasingly hiring Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) to bridge the gap in healthcare delivery. This trend not only addresses the supply-demand imbalance but also opens up new career avenues for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Physician offices and hospitals must recognize the increasing competition from retail settings and fully comprehend the benefits they offer to both current staff and potential hires. Understanding why physicians might consider leaving for retail positions is crucial for these institutions to effectively address and highlight their own advantages. Hiring professionals need to be prepared to articulate why their offerings are superior and why employees should choose to remain within their system.

Additionally, it's vital for retail locations to showcase the benefits of their more retail-like environment, which not only appeals to a broader patient base but also presents new opportunities for healthcare providers. By highlighting the diverse career opportunities available and crafting a compelling employee value proposition (EVP), healthcare organizations can successfully recruit and retain the talent they need. 

healthcare recruitment strategies


2. AI Enhancing Personalized Care

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is poised to revolutionize the industry's ability to provide personalized care. AI applications can streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and alleviate burnout among healthcare professionals.

This is essential since burnout impacts physicians' career plans. According to Doximity, over 86% reported being overworked, with over one-third considering early retirement. Overall, two-thirds (66.7%) of physician respondents reported considering an employment change. 

In 2024, AI applications will be moving from experimentation and trials to real-world use cases. These will include areas that reduce administrative burdens, help clinicians find information, improve the efficiency of healthcare call centers, and help organizations run more efficiently overall, according to the World Economic Forum.

As the demand for personalized healthcare rises, recruitment professionals should seek out candidates with technological aptitude and a willingness to embrace AI tools. Emphasizing the incorporation of AI technologies into recruitment marketing materials can attract forward-thinking professionals and help companies aid in the retention of their providers.


3. Hybrid Healthcare Workforce in High Demand

According to Grandview Research, the telehealth market is projected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24% from 2023 to 2032, driven by increased demand for virtual care services. This surge in telehealth creates a need for a hybrid healthcare workforce capable of seamlessly transitioning between in-person and virtual care delivery. Hiring professionals should focus on identifying candidates with strong digital literacy, excellent communication skills, and the ability to adapt to changing modes of healthcare delivery.

Recruitment marketing strategies should highlight the advantages of a hybrid workforce, emphasizing the flexibility it provides to healthcare professionals and the enhanced access to care for patients. Staying up to speed with the evolving telehealth landscape and tailoring recruitment efforts accordingly will be crucial for meeting the demands of this growing market segment. Hybrid also provides more flexibility, which is something candidates and employees desire.

Tip: Implementing a hybrid approach can also help reduce burnout, a known stressor impacting physicians. 


4. Physician Residency Slot Challenges

Despite a gradual increase in the number of medical school graduates, the availability of physician residency slots has not kept pace, primarily due to government funding caps (American Medical Association). This discrepancy poses challenges for medical systems interested in establishing or expanding residency programs. 

Source: AAMC

Proactive engagement with medical schools and advocacy for increased government funding for residency programs can help companies and recruiters overcome these challenges. Staying informed about the evolving regulatory landscape and actively participating in initiatives to address residency slot shortages will be key to ensuring a robust pipeline of qualified healthcare professionals.


5. Physician Retirements on the Rise

The healthcare industry faces a significant demographic shift as more than two in five doctors are expected to reach retirement age over the next decade. This surge in retirements, particularly around the age of 65, poses a considerable challenge regarding talent retention and succession planning for healthcare organizations.

According to Jackson Physician Search, the two in five numbers above represent a record number of physicians nearing retirement age. Additionally, a reported 60% of Gen X physicians plan to retire by age 60, “and data shows they’re making a move in that direction with 12% of those aged 51-60 already working part-time.” For administrators looking to keep physicians in the workforce and companies recruiting them, the Jackson study listed the most popular options that would cause them to delay full retirement:

  • Part-time status – 58%
  • Flexible schedules – 52%
  • Reducing or eliminating on-call requirements – 42%

In order to optimize success, recruitment marketing professionals need to acknowledge this trend and develop strategies to attract and retain the next generation of healthcare professionals. Targeted recruitment campaigns, mentorship programs, and flexible retirement transition plans can help mitigate the impact of physician retirements on healthcare workforce stability.


6. Trending Preference for a Four-Day Workweek

As of September 2023, there has been a noticeable uptick in job ads promoting four-day work weeks, with physicians being a top job family for this trend. One percent of job postings for physicians explicitly mention the four-day workweek, signaling a shift in work-life balance preferences among healthcare professionals.

There are a number of advantages to implementing the four-day workweek, both to clinicians and to their employers. It can improve employee morale and job satisfaction. An extra day off each week allows employees more time for personal pursuits, which can lead to reduced stress and a better work-life balance. A shorter work week also has the potential to increase productivity, since employees remain more focused and motivated during workdays. A four-day workweek also reduces costs for employers, since they can save on utilities and other expenses associated with being up and running for an extra day.

Recognizing and capitalizing on this trend can help recruitment marketing professionals incorporate flexible work arrangements into their hiring strategies. Highlighting the benefits of a four-day workweek – such as improved work-life balance and reduced burnout – can attract top-tier candidates seeking more sustainable and fulfilling opportunities in healthcare.

healthcare employer branding



Considering the existing level of competition and the current state of healthcare hiring, staying ahead of industry trends is imperative for recruitment marketers. The evolving landscape presents both challenges and opportunities, but foresight, proactivity and adapting recruitment strategies to align with the trends discussed here will ensure that healthcare organizations attract and retain the best talent, fostering a resilient and dynamic workforce.

Reach out to us if your organization is interested in developing proactive and innovative recruitment approaches to hiring in the healthcare sector!

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