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Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey Results

Deep Dive - March 2, 2022

Recruitment & Hiring

Culture & Engagement


A new survey from MGMA Executive Partner Jackson Physician Search and LocumTenens.com shows hope for rural healthcare organizations to make progress in resolving their physician staffing challenges.

The study, Rural Physician Recruitment and Staffing Survey Results, suggests the market could be shifting, as 90% of surveyed physicians indicate they have some level of openness to considering rural practice.

“Our findings provide a recruitment roadmap for rural healthcare,” said Tony Stajduhar, president of Jackson Physician Search. “Considering the reality that 20% of the population lives in rural areas — yet only about 10% of physicians practice there — combined with COVID-prompted early retirements and job changes, these new insights suggest that rural healthcare organizations can more effectively market open positions by better understanding what physicians want and need.”

The recent survey of 1,311 physicians and 169 administrators, as well as 158 advanced practice providers (APPs), explored the dynamics of what it’s like to work in rural, suburban and urban healthcare environments, and how physicians are thinking about rural practice opportunities. Interestingly, physicians sometimes vary in their viewpoints based on their current practice location and stage of life.

This report includes:
  • Physicians’ sentiments on what they want in a permanent rural opportunity
  • Physicians’ views on rural locum tenens and recommendations for its strategic use
  • A snapshot of how COVID-19 is impacting physician retirements and rural recruitment
  • Tips to more efficiently and effectively recruit physicians to rural healthcare by addressing key generational differences when marketing job opportunities
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