The top 10 states with the highest demand for healthcare professionals in 2024

February 1st, 2024 13 Min read The top 10 states with the highest demand for healthcare professionals in 2024 Blog

The United States is experiencing a dire shortage of healthcare workers. Right now, the AMA estimates there will be a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, and that number will only continue to grow. However, some states are feeling these effects more than others. Here are the top 10 states with the highest demand for healthcare workers this year.

10. North Carolina

Landscape photo of city in North Carolina, a top-10 state with high demand for physicians in 2024

In North Carolina, nearly one-third of its population hadn't seen a primary care physician in the past six years. Fortunately, North Carolina has enacted policies to recruit more healthcare workers. The National Health Service Corps is providing student loan repayments for healthcare workers in North Carolina and increasing funding to all counties with a healthcare shortage, not just the counties with the worst shortages.

9. Massachusetts

Landscape photo of Massachusetts

According to a survey from the Massachusetts Medical Society, 25% of Massachusetts physicians plan to leave the profession in the next two years. The main culprit? Burnout. More than half (55%) of physicians working in Massachusetts feel burnt out.

The shortage has caused some healthcare facilities to limit operations. For example, Massachusetts’ most extensive healthcare system is limiting new patients because it doesn’t have enough primary care doctors.

8. Indiana

Landscape photo of Indiana

Indiana’s rural counties have some of the highest demand for healthcare workers in the country. While 62% of urban patients in Indiana are facing a healthcare shortage, 87% of rural patients live in areas with a healthcare shortage.

Because of the primary care healthcare shortage, Indianans are resorting to urgent care facilities for healthcare. Urgent care facilities in Indiana have increased from 202 facilities in 2018 to 261 in 2022. But this pressure has overwhelmed Indiana urgent care clinics, causing Indiana patients to seek care in emergency rooms.

7. Illinois

Landscape photo of Illinois

Rural areas in Illinois have almost 50 percent fewer physicians per capita physicians per capita than urban areas, but that doesn’t mean urban areas are thriving. Across Illinois, a shortage of physicians has caused long wait times and decreased quality of care. Fortunately, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Center for Medicare and Medicaid awarded a grant to fund 23 residency slots across Illinois to bring in more physicians.

6. Wisconsin

Landscape photo of Wisconsin

Wisconsin is predicted to have predicted to have a shortage of 745 doctors by 2035, and 40% of its primary physicians will retire in the same timeframe. As is the case in many states, Wisconsin’s shortage is caused by an aging population, both in patients and in physicians.

In addition, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the average length of hospital stays has jumped by 22% for Medicare patients, 32% for private insurance patients, and a concerning 75% for Medicaid patients.

5. Florida

Landscape photo of Florida

As a popular retirement spot, it’s no surprise that Florida is one of the states with the highest demand for healthcare workers. Florida’s population is projected to add nearly 300,000 new residents a year, yet a third of Florida’s full-time doctors are over 60.

This shortage will affect doctors across specialties; the Florida Medical Association predicts a shortage of nearly 6,000 primary care doctors, more than 1,500 emergency department physicians, 1,230 psychiatrists, and more than 600 cardiologists.

4. Texas

Landscape photo of Texas

Like Florida, Texas is experiencing fast population growth. The state’s population has grown by 12% in the past decade. Fortunately, the number of physicians in Texas is growing faster than the general population.

And yet, Texas still needs more doctors. Texas currently has just 204.6 physicians per 100,000 people, much lower than the country’s average of 247.5 per 100,000. To help draw more physicians to the state, Texas has joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which allowed an additional 1,300 doctors to be licensed in Texas.

3. Pennsylvania

Landscape photo of a city in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has twice as many medically underserved areas as the average state. But interestingly, Pennsylvania is also a leading state for training new healthcare professionals. It ranks third in the country for the number of medical school graduates and has more than 9,000 active medical residents across the state.

This is part of a legacy of medical schools in Pennsylvania started by Ben Franklin. However, this extensive network of hospital systems creates greater demand for physicians.

2. New York

Landscape photo of a city in New York,

New York needs healthcare professionals from primary care to nurse practitioners to psychiatrists. To help increase providers in the state, New York plans to add 1,640 nurse practitioner roles annually.

Some of the state’s areas are aging faster than others, which will increase demand. Long Island's median age is now 42 years old, which is older than both the state and national averages. Plus, an extensive report by the City of New York found that a shortage of psychiatrists is affecting the whole city.

1. California

Landscape photo of California, a top-10 state with high demand for physicians in 2024

The state with the highest population in the country also has the highest demand for healthcare workers. In 2022, only 49% of Californians’ primary care needs were met. California’s cost of living is high in rural and urban areas, so recruiting doctors in rural towns is challenging, where about a third of residents experience a physician shortage.

To combat this, California is considering legislation that would allow nurse practitioners to get additional training and work more independently of physicians.

No matter which healthcare profession you’re in, there is a growing need for your skills and expertise across the country. These 10 states have some of the highest demand for healthcare workers, providing great opportunities to increase your income and expand your scope of practice.

Ready to lend your help to one of these states? We can help you find the perfect job. Give us a call at 800.453.3030 to get started or view healthcare opportunities in your profession.

Updated February 1, 2024.


Kathleen Stone

Kathleen Stone is a writer for CompHealth from Salt Lake City, Utah. In her spare time, she loves going to the desert, trying new foods and being with family.

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