U.S. News & World Report (03/13/12) Christopher Gearon
The health care employment market is among the brightest anywhere. Even before the new health care reform law promised to add 32 million people to insurance rolls, the government’s employment prognosticators had predicted upward of three million new jobs between 2008 and 2018. “Even when the economy slowed down, people kept hiring physicians,” says Tommy Bohannon, a vice president at Merritt Hawkins, a Dallas-based physician recruiting firm. “I do not see it changing.”
Primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are enjoying a seller’s market. These providers increasingly are seeing and treating more patients themselves and are taking on traditional physician duties such as writing prescriptions. Nurse practitioners cost an employer about half what internists do; their average pay now runs around $99,000. They also tend to be efficient at coordinating patient care to avoid mistakes and gaps in treatment. “The demand will be there for care coordination alone,” says Peter McMenamin, senior policy fellow with the American Nurses Association.