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A Fairly New Position, Hospitalists Aim to Alleviate Physician Shortage and Stress

Stressed out and strained physicians, particularly physicians working in hospitals, is nothing new.  Physicians practicing in hospitals are subject to insane hours and shifts.  Working in hospitals can range from an uneventful morning to a night with nonstop patients.  For even the most experienced physicians, working in hospitals can be very tiring and stressful.  However, what is fairly new is a growing physician shortage.  The growing doctor shortage combined with an aging population has added to the daily stress experienced by doctors working in hospitals.  There is one solution to alleviating the stress and strains of working in hospitals.

The term hospitalist was first used in the mid-1990s.  Before the 1990s, who we know call hospitalists were typically a combination of nurses and physicians assistants.  Today, a shortage of doctors combined with an aging yet growing population means that nurses and physician assistants simply aren’t enough.  Now, there is a new position, hospitalists.  A growing position featuring a great wage and flexibility, here’s what a hospitalist is.


What is a Hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a physician certified in internal medicine.  What’s different about a hospitalist physician and a typical physician is that hospitalists are exclusive to a location not a practice or part of the human anatomy.  Additionally, their schedules and routines resemble those of a nurse rather than a physician.  So yes, they are physicians but not restricted to a certain part of the human body or practice but rather to a location.  They might also practice under another physician.

Hospitalists are especially attractive to hospitals and clinics given their flexibility.  They will often work night shifts or extended shifts compared to that of a traditional physician.  Moreso, hospitalists can easily move around from hospital to hospital or clinic to clinic.  Hours and shifts are fairly flexible with hospitalists sometimes working alternating weeks.

Not only are the schedules and flexibility of hospitalists attractive to both employers and physicians themselves but wages are also very attractive to hospitalists.  The average annual wage for a hospitalist is $204,685 with many hospitalists having the opportunity to earn more.

Overall, by 2030, the demand for hospitalists jobs is expected to grow by 26%.

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Actively Licensed Physicians Increased 12% Over The Past Six Years

A report released by the Federation of State Medical Boards found that the number of actively licensed physicians actually increased 12% over the past 6 years.  The report found that from 2010 to 2016, the number of actively licensed physicians rose from 850,085 to 953,695.  The FSMB notes that the physician-to-population ratio increased from 277 physicians per 100,000 people to 295 physicians per 100,000 people.

Though the number of actively licensed physicians increased the chair of the FSMB noted, “Many parts of our country are feeling the effects of an increasing physician shortage.”  He continued noting that the report will do a great deal in determining how to combat the physician shortage.  There are still tens of thousands of physician jobs to be filled in the United States.

Number of Female Physicians Increasing

Additionally, the report found that the number of female physicians also increased from 2010 to 2016.  Over that 6 year period, the number of female physicians rose from 30% to 34%.  Finally, the number of US citizens who graduated from Caribbean medical schools increased by 95% from 2010 to 2016 from 11,037 to 21,519.