The looming shortage of primary care physicians has been well documented. With the number of insured Americans increasing, the need for primary care physicians is exploding – but the supply is not keeping up with the demand. This dearth of Internist and Family Medicine physicians isn’t just impacting traditional primary care, its also impacting Urgent Care centers throughout the country.
As the number Urgent Care centers across the country is expected to increase by nearly 6% each year, many are having a difficult time recruiting qualified physicians. Competing for an already shallow pool of physicians with traditional outpatient and inpatient opportunities, Urgent Care centers are finding themselves scrambling to find sufficient staff. So how can Urgent Care centers position themselves to attract qualified physicians? Below are three things Urgent Care centers can emphasize when recruiting new physicians.
Unlike traditional outpatient or hospitalist opportunities, Urgent Care centers can offer physicians much more flexibility on when they practice. Whether it is offering weekends only, a four-day workweek, or part time options, the nature of Urgent Care centers enables them to provide greater flexibility. This flexibility in scheduling can help physicians achieve greater work-life balance, which is highly attractive for many new and practicing physicians.
Whether the position is compensated on an hourly or salary basis, the overall compensation is generally higher than what is offered to physicians in an outpatient setting. As some of the lowest paid specialties, Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physicians would welcome the higher pay associated with practicing in an Urgent Care setting.
No Call Schedule
In the quest for an opportunity offering work-life balance, many physicians place light to no call very high on their list of priorities. But while opportunities with no call would be ideal for many physicians, few traditional primary care opportunities offer it. By emphasizing the lack of call to prospective physician candidates, Urgent Care centers can cater to candidates seeking work-life balance.
While the number of Urgent Care Centers across the country continues to grow, many will continue to face challenges in their physician recruitment. But by emphasizing the flexibility, compensation, and work-life balance offered by practicing in an Urgent Care setting, these centers can remain competitive and continue to recruit and retain high quality physicians.