First, the irrefutable statistics: The percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students this year was the lowest ever (41%), according to the 2019 National Resident Matching Program. Given that this year also saw the highest number of primary care openings on record (8,116), the potential for a serious shortfall is more than evident. For purposes of categorizing subspecialties, the Match considers “primary care” to encompass internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics—notably, not urgent care. That disconnect is hard to figure in some ways, but also is symbolic of the potential opportunity for urgent care to continue growing in stature as a distinct practice setting. There’s another dichotomy at play, though: If patients are forced to wait longer than ever to see their PCP because their numbers are dwindling, they may be more inclined to visit an urgent care center; on the flip side, urgent care operators are hiring from the same candidate pool, so competition to draw top clinical talent may be fiercer than ever. This makes it all the more important for your business to be known as a great place to work. JUCM published an article that might offer some insights. You can read Becoming the Employer of Choice for the Emerging Urgent Care Workforce in our archive.
Primary Care Shortage Could Further Set Urgent Care Apart—for Better or Worse