The demand for physiatrists is now more than ever.  There are several signs of this increased demand.  Employers used to wait until after the AAPMR meeting to ask me to help with recruitment but now they tell me a year+ ahead to recruit.

supply demand graphic in article about physical medicine and rehabilitation physician demand

There has been a change in the type of PM&R jobs over the years.  All I represented 20 years ago was inpatient practice opportunities. For the last 10 years, I have a sampling of all subspecialty practice opportunities to include interventional, subacute and general outpatient.  Subacute has seen the greatest increase over the last 10 years.

The demand for TBI, SCI, pediatric rehab, and telemedicine continues on an upward curve.  TBI and SCI positions are hard to fill as very few physiatrists pursue these fellowships.  However, there seems to be an increased interest from residents in pursuing these fellowships.

A note to physiatrists pursuing interventional fellowships is that more and more employers require an ACGME-accredited fellowship.

It’s harder to find candidates as everyone is looking for physiatrists.  Hence, there’s a lesser number of candidates for any one practice opportunity.  That makes it more important to look for candidates as early as possible.

The type of position has also changed recently.  Now there are many more Medical Director, Rehab positions.  There are several reasons for this prevalence.  One is that in states like FL, the certificate of need requirement has ceased so many companies are now freely able to build a rehab hospital.  For example, there will be 450 new rehab beds in the Jacksonville, FL area within a year’s time.  Another reason for the increase in Medical Director, Rehab positions is that less and less physiatrists have an interest in inpatient rehab.

The financial impact of this physiatry shortage is that there are more sign-on bonuses than in the past.  These bonuses typically range from $20,000 on up.

More practices are using NP’s and PA’s as they can’t find physiatrists.  Rehab hospital are employing internists because they can’t find physiatrists and also because more and more physiatrists do not have an interest in acting as the primary doctor for patients.

As a result of this shortage, it is more than ever imperative to use a physician recruiter.  This is not a marketing pitch!  Some of the studies are as follows:

  • 2019 – 2023: The demand for physiatrists will increase by 4 %
  • 2023: Shortfall of 1,900 – 12,100 physiatrists
  • 2018 – 2028 – job market is projected to grow 7%
  • The demand for Sports Medicine Physicians is expected to go up, with an expected 72,500 new jobs filled by 2029. This represents an annual increase of 2.15 percent over the next few years

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Physiatry jobs were on a slow upward curve from 2012 until 2018 and then Covid hit and there was almost no demand.  Since 2019 the growth has resumed.  From:

In recent years, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians have the highest job vacancies and job growth rate in the following states:  ND, HI, NH, NM, AZ, VT and IL.  The following states have had the lowest job openings and growth rates:  NY, DE, CT, RI, MO, IN, and WV.  From