AAFP Statement: Family Physicians Are Most Heavily Recruited Specialists, According to Report
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Rick Kellerman, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians
“The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is pleased to acknowledge the results of the ‘2007 Review of Physician and CRNA Recruiting Incentives,’ which show that family medicine is the highest recruited specialty this year. In 2004, family physicians were the fourth most heavily recruited physician specialty, and in 2006, the second most heavily recruited.”
“The 2007 report, conducted by Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, one of the nation’s leading health care staffing and consulting firms, shows there has been an 84 percent increase in staffing search assignments for family physicians in the past three years. This exhibits the renewed focus hospitals and medical groups are putting on primary care after several years of neglect.”
“The 2007 review also indicates an increased demand for family physicians that is reflected in the financial incentives offered to recruit them. Average salary- or income-guarantee offers made to family physicians increased 11 percent from last year to this year.”
“Furthermore, the report shows family physicians are in the top six of all medical specialties based on greatest gain in base income from last year to this year.”
“The 2007 Merritt Hawkins recruiting report supports findings of the AAFP’s most recent family physician workforce report. The AAFP workforce report, published late last year, calls for an approximate 39 percent increase in family physicians to meet the health care needs of the American people.”
“This is just one more example that proves the pivotal role family physicians and family medicine play in the U.S. health care system. Unfortunately, because of an inequitable Medicare payment system and the high cost of medical liability insurance, among other factors, only 7 percent of U.S. medical students chose to go into family medicine this year. The AAFP is continuing its efforts to reform the fragmented system to one based on a personal physician who provides the majority of a patient’s care. This model, the personal medical home model of care, is proven to increase quality of care and decrease costs.”
Note to journalists: Download the full Merritt Hawkins report (17-page PDF; About PDFs).
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.