The dire state of the gastroenterology workforce

Gastroenterology is shaping up to be the most in-demand specialty, with the shortage projected to reach 1,630 by 2025, according to Rosman Search's 2024 Physician Hiring Trends report.

Here are 10 key notes on the gastroenterology workforce:

1.More than 50% of active gastroenterologists are over 55, according to the Rosman report. 

2. The annual number of available training positions in gastroenterology increased from 325 to 616 from 2008 to 2002, according to the report. The annual number of applicants increased 57% in that period. 

3. Around 10% of gastroenterology physicians are a part of a private equity-backed platform, according to Healthcare Appraisers' 2023 GI "Industry Outlook" report, published in September. 

4. A majority of gastroenterologists, 65%, said most physicians in the U.S. are underpaid, according to Medscape's 2024 "Gastroenterologist Compensation Report," published May 24.  A minority of gastroenterologists, 44%, said they are fairly compensated when considering work demands. 

5. Gastroenterologists have maintained a strong presence as private practice providers, despite nationwide trends. Data from career site Zippa found that 88% of gastroenterologists work in private practice, the second highest specialty. 

6. Self-employed gastroenterologists earn more than employed. Median compensation for gastroenterologists working at hospital-owned groups or MSOs increased 4%, compared to a 15% increase for those at physician-owned groups, according to the Healthcare Appraiser report.

7. Around 60% of gastroenterologists said compensation was a factor when choosing their practice specialty, according to the Medscape report. Gastroenterologists saw a 2% increase in pay in 2024 compared to 2023. 

8. Thirty-nine percent of gastroenterologists said they take on side gigs outside their key roles, and around 69% of gastroenterologists said compensation bonuses are available to them. . 

9. The majority of gastroenterologists (14,116) practice patient care, whereas the remainder focus on teaching, research or other areas, according to the Association of American Medical College's "2022 Physician Specialty Data Report."

10. A total of 12,576 gastroenterologists (80.3 percent) are men and 3,083 (19.7 percent) are women, according to the AAMC's report. There are 20,830 people per active gastroenterologist.

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