But what some medical students don’t realize is that not all specialties have the same demand in the job marketplace. Sometimes, there’s very steep demand for fields that would seem, on the surface, to be well-staffed. It can be a wonderful idea to pursue one of them, because there’s more likelihood of finding a job in the right market, with the right terms, when there’s a shortage of doctors in that field.
The best example of this is family medicine. It seems like everyone has a family doctor, but in some areas, that’s just not the case. This is the most-requested specialty by recruiters, and has been for years. It makes senses. Many boomer-aged doctors are retiring. And every small town needs a good family doctor. This is a rewarding specialty, and one that needs great doctors who can spot trouble when there’s still time for a specialist to intervene.
Another in-demand specialty is psychiatry. More Americans struggle with mental illness and issues like PTSD than ever before. In markets like New York City and Los Angeles, there are plenty of experienced psychiatrists to choose from. But across the country, it’s a very different picture. For the past few years, it’s been the second most in-demand specialty among recruiters like Merritt Hawkins.
There’s also heavy demand for good internists. Many internal medicine doctors are moving on to more specialized fields to help end shortages there. Many of them leave to specialize in senior care as geriatricians. That’s wonderful news for seniors. But it’s creating a shortage in internal medicine, the field that treats most other adults.
Finally, there’s a growing demand for ob-gyns. Shockingly, over half of US counties don’t have a single ob-gyn. This is especially concerning as the female population and the birth rate goes up. Recruiters are seeing a significant upward tick in demand for these doctors. For example, from 2017 to 2018, demand for ob-gyns went up by almost 10 percent.