What Does 14-20 Percent Growth in Psychiatry Market Mean for Psychiatry Candidates?

April 6th, 2011 2 Min read What Does 14-20 Percent Growth in Psychiatry Market Mean for Psychiatry Candidates? Blog
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has pegged annual growth in Psychiatry at 14-20% through 2016. Our own growth reflected that data with an increase of roughly 20% from 2009-2010. That growth continues as we have seen an increase in "jobs written" in the 4th quarter of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. For some candidates the increased demand has meant going on more interviews and receiving more offers than in previous years. In response employers have been more creative with loan repayment, sign on bonuses, PTO, CME stipends and other incentives. Even annual base compensation for Psychiatrists, something that hospitals are historically reluctant to increase, has begun to rise. Yet many candidates are surprised to find out there are limited options for them in the psychiatry market even with the physician shortage. There are 3 factors contributing to this:
  1. Supply is increasing from 2009-2010, graduating residents and fellows (child/adolescent only) increased with the growth in Psych demand or about 19% (1,690 in 2009 and 2,008 in 2010). Add the roughly 7% of practicing psychiatrists who relocate annually. Also add to that aging workforce that has decided NOT to retire and instead remains in the workforce longer. The result is that even with increasing demand the Psychiatry candidate pool is still highly competitive
  2. Psychiatrist Shortage is Location Dependent ? while demand is increasing everywhere for psychiatry, the vast majority of psychiatrists are seeking positions in major metropolitan hubs such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco etc. One Chairman of a Child Psych Program in NYC recently told us that his voicemail is continually full with messages from child psychiatrists looking for help finding a position in New York City. Meanwhile, areas a few hours outside of Boston, New York City or San Francisco have a smaller candidate pools to choose from, better compensation and more flexibility.
  3. Practice Type Bias with the majority of candidates seeking Outpatient positions, competition for outpatient is high. Inpatient positions are more severely impacted by additional demand since candidates fill the additional outpatient positions faster than the additional inpatient positions. Many hospitals are aware of the bias and offer creative options to address lifestyle concerns with inpatient and/or simply offer additional compensation for inpatient coverage.
Ultimately, the increased demand means that there are more opportunities available to psychiatrists but those opportunities may not be in the location or be the practice setting that candidates were expecting. Maintaining an open mind during the job search process is essential for candidates because there is still a competitive candidate pool. Prioritizing needs, specifically; location, geography, and practice style and determining how much flexibility one has with each of those factors will help navigate the expanding market.