Redefining Recruitment to Retention

AAPPR Report Shows Demand for Physicians Reaching a New High as Staffing Shortage Continues

Annual Benchmarking Report Provides Industry Data from Internal Physician and Provider Recruitment Professionals 

OKEMOS, Mich., Oct. 24, 2023 — The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) has released its annual Internal Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report, highlighting the increasing physician shortage in the United States and the impact on recruiting and hiring. The report found organizations are searching for more physicians than ever before amid historic labor shortages for the second consecutive year.

More than 150 member health organizations of AAPPR, the leading authority in the physician and provider recruitment to retention continuum, participated in the extensive annual research study representing more than 19,000 searches, 60 percent of which were specific to physicians. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects about 24,200 openings for physicians and surgeons each year, on average, over the decade, meaning the data from AAPPR’s Benchmarking Report represents close to half of all physician searches in the United States.

The report, which provides industry data to help in-house recruitment professionals in workforce planning and growth management, found that active physician searches per year have more than doubled since 2017. Data also shows that 2022 marked the fifth straight year in which the percentage of searches filled decreased, as the demand for physicians remains competitive and labor remains scarce.

“While the data from this year’s survey is not surprising, it does highlight a concerning trend for the entire healthcare industry and a need for collaboration within our industry to address the growing challenges in physician and provider recruitment,” said Carey Goryl, CEO of AAPPR. “For the fifth year in a row, we are seeing less and less open physician positions being filled despite the number of active searches increasing. This starkly highlights the depth of the physician and provider shortage our country is facing. Every day these positions remain open, is a day patients aren’t being seen and revenue is lost.”

The report did highlight some reassuring progress in the healthcare staffing landscape. For the first time in four years, the number of physician searches to replace departing physicians declined from 48 percent in 2021 to 44 percent in 2022, suggesting more physicians stayed with their organizations in 2022 rather than sought new opportunities.

Other notable report findings include:

  • Recruitment departments’ budgets increased in 2022 after declining for several years during and after the pandemic. With budget increases, departments started to rely more heavily on search agencies, with nearly 75 percent of organizations extending their capacity by using a search firm in 2022, most likely for their most difficult and time-consuming searches.
  • The percentage of searches still open at the end of the year remained high, with 47 percent of physician searches and 26 percent of advanced practice provider (APP) searches open.
  • Primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine and hospital medicine are the most sought-after specialties, accounting for more than a quarter of all searches.
  • Positions least likely to be filled in 2022 included Surgery: Plastics, Geriatrics and Ophthalmology.
  • Some of the longest positions to fill, defined as when a contract is signed, were in Urology (344 days to contract) and Neurosurgery (254 days to contract). When organizations consider that the time to credential and license is another 4 months on average and varies widely, it is not uncommon for organizations to be without some specialties for a year or longer.

The industry-level data in AAPPR’s Benchmarking Survey helps recruitment professionals and departments establish target productivity levels, set goals and expectations, and grow their teams.

Organizations that participate in the annual survey gain free access to AAPPR’s benchmarking portal where they can run custom benchmark comparisons to other organizations and departments similar to their own. The benchmarking portal includes time to fill and compensation calculators and enables users to compare a range of data, including organizational profiles, search information, recruiter profile data, and recruiter compensation figures, helping them make more informed decisions.

The complete 2023 AAPPR Internal Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report is available to organizations for sale online. To order, visit

About The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR)
The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) is a nationally recognized leader in health care provider recruitment, onboarding, and retention. For more than 30 years, AAPPR has empowered physician and advanced practice provider recruitment leaders to transform care delivery in their communities by providing best-in-class practices, up-to-date industry knowledge, and evolving innovative approaches for hiring, onboarding, and retaining exceptional clinical talent. To learn more or to become an organizational member of AAPPR, please visit