Look up: pigs are flying. Look down: hell is freezing over. That's right, Charleston, San Diego, Omaha, and even Portland and Utah have jobs. This is the location report I never thought I would write, but here it is. Jobs are everywhere!
Don't run off to Salt Lake City. These difficult-to-penetrate areas have one, perhaps two, opportunities, and if you want a shot at them you better have some pretty impressive credentials and a relative who works there. The market is so wide open right now anything is possible, but those prime lifestyle areas remain tough to crack, just not quite as tough. The other thing you need to keep an eye on is quality. A big jump in quantity is usually accompanied by a big dive in quality. Ask a lot of questions, and read between the lines.
I contacted the larger groups for an idea of where they needed physicians for the coming season. I also asked them how long they predict the job market for EPs will continue to be flooded with openings, and what they are doing to keep up with the demand. The group leaders all agreed that the current candidate-driven market was going to continue into the foreseeable future, largely because the emergency physician shortage persists, particularly in rural areas.
The greatest need for emergency physicians will be in Ohio and the 12 states of the Midwest. Look for strong opportunities in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus and in all other parts of the state. Illinois is rife with opportunity throughout the state with Chicago topping the chart. High numbers of jobs can also be found in Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin and multiple opportunities in Kansas City (both sides) and St. Louis. Iowa, Michigan, Kansas, and Minnesota will have fewer jobs, but Nebraska and the Dakotas have the fewest listings, though they do exist. Thirty-two percent of positions throughout the Midwest are open to physicians board certified in primary care. Fifty-eight percent of Missouri employers, but only eight percent of those in Wisconsin, will accept physicians not board certified in emergency medicine. Detroit will be tight as will Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Des Moines, but higher potential exists in Ft. Wayne, Topeka, and Omaha.
The Southeast leads the country in opportunities for physicians board certified in primary care at 37 percent, with staggeringly high numbers in states like Arkansas (88%), Alabama (63%), and Mississippi (52%). The 10 states of the Southeast represent 27 percent of the nation's job opportunities with Tennessee leading the way, followed by Florida and North Carolina. The major cities in Florida, from Miami to Tampa to Jacksonville, will offer many opportunities. Look for North Carolina jobs in the western Smoky Mountain area, Charlotte, and the Atlantic coastal regions, but forget Research Triangle; it is the only area of the country that remains closed. Nashville and Knoxville opportunities are strong as are the mountain areas in the east. Georgia has jobs this year, as does Atlanta — big time! Kentucky has jobs all over with a few in Louisville and Lexington. Mississippi and South Carolina don't offer much in the major cities (one job in Charleston probably won't last long), and the same goes for Alabama and Arkansas.
The 10 Western states will provide about 16 percent of the country's opportunities with 20 percent open to primary care physicians. California and Texas lead the way, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and even San Diego. Big numbers will be found in the San Jose region of California with groups of all sizes. San Antonio and Austin in Texas also have high numbers of jobs. Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico will have sporadic opportunities with little to be found in major cities like Phoenix and Denver. Only a few spots are available in Hawaii and Utah, but Oklahoma is on the map this year, including the major cities.
Providing another 16 percent of the country's jobs are the seven Middle Atlantic because of jobs in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland. Look for strong opportunity in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and the entire Washington, DC, metro area, including the Virginia and Maryland suburbs. Only 15 percent of the jobs in this region will be open to primary care physicians with emergency medicine experience. A moderate number of jobs can be found in West Virginia; surprisingly only five percent are open to primary care physicians. This may be because of the high number of opportunities in Charleston. Delaware has a few spots, and New Jersey is busy along the coast, near New York City, and near Philadelphia. Baltimore leads the way for city job availability this year, with a wide variety of employer models.
Less than 10 percent of the seven Northeastern states are open to primary care physicians, with no employers in Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire accepting primary care. Forty-one percent of the jobs in Maine, however, will accept primary care physicians. New York City has opportunities, as does the Syracuse region. Boston and Providence are ripe with openings, but only nominal spots exist in Vermont and New Hampshire. Look in western Massachusetts and all over Connecticut for strong opportunities.
The Northwest as usual provides less than five percent of the nation's job opportunities, but 31 percent will be open to primary care physicians with emergency medicine experience. Washington and Oregon will have spots in suburban, rural, and urban areas, including Seattle and Portland. My favorite job listing, in fact, comes from Seattle: “Do you love medicine as much as we do? Is it in your blood? Does it exude from your pores? Do you care about patient satisfaction and clinical excellence? Are you excellent?”
The job market for the coming year looks intriguing! Speaking of intrigue, you may need to hire a spy to find a job in Alaska, but there are a few and even a bunch in the mountain areas of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Stick a pin in the U.S. map, and chances are you'll find a job there, unless, of course, it's where pigs really don't fly this year: Raleigh-Durham, NC.
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© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.