Lack of Jobs for Emergency Medicine Residents

physicians walking in hallway

A recent article in The Washington Post discusses the increased scarcity of jobs for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents entering the workforce. Two underlying factors include hospital adjustments as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and supply and demand fluctuations caused by an increase in EM physicians over the last decade.

The lack of available positions is partly the result of a domino effect created by the Coronavirus pandemic:
  • Last year, many people avoided ER visits out of fear of contracting the coronavirus
  • ER numbers then dropped, causing emergency departments to make less money
  • As a result, cash-strapped employers stopped recruiting new doctors
The pandemic has also greatly affected hospitals, causing them to make staff adjustments among other things. The American Hospital Association (AHA) estimates that U.S. hospitals lost $50 billion per month in the period from March through June 2020, not including government relief money. In addition to a reduction in ER visits, other factors to this decrease in revenue include interruption to scheduled and elective surgeries.

Increase in Numbers of EM Physicians
Since 2008, both the number of EM physicians and those enrolled in residency programs has steadily increased. The number of EM physicians has risen from 40,000 to nearly 50,000 in the last 12 years, and the number of doctors enrolled in EM residency programs has grown from 4,500 to nearly 8,000 during that same time frame. That growth has also increased the competition for jobs.

Read more at The Washington Post.

Wapiti Medical Staffing has extensive experience providing coverage for emergency department and inpatient census and all those other things in between. Check out our job board for locum tenens assignments (short and long-term) and perm placement positions that are available.

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