SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 16, 2019 -- Doximity the professional medical network, today published the first comprehensive data study examining physician employment trends in the field of telemedicine. This is the first study of its kind to analyze U.S. physician interest in telemedicine jobs, examining interest by age, employment status, gender, geographic location and specialty.
The study found that the number of physicians who self-reported telemedicine as a skill between 2015 and 2018 has doubled and continues to increase annually by 20 percent. This growth in physician interest correlates with the increasing number of telemedicine patient visits, which has jump 261 percent annually between 2015 and 2017, according to a recent report published in JAMA.
Doximity also observed growing physician interest in locum tenens work, which is a temporary physician employment opportunity that is considered part-time. Many telemedicine positions are also part time, so this could signal a growing trend of physicians gravitating towards more flexible clinical positions.
“With this unique data set, for the first time we can narrowly study physicians and their relationship with alternative clinical opportunities, such as telemedicine and locum tenens opportunities,” said Christopher Whaley, PhD, lead author of the study and adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.
Key findings from the study include:
Female Physicians Are More Interested in Telemedicine Job Opportunities
When analyzing physician interest in job opportunities by gender, the data shows that women were 10 percent more interested in telemedicine jobs, relative to men.
Millennial and Boomer Physicians Agree: All Age Groups are Interested in Telemedicine
When examining physician interest by age, the study found nearly equal engagement in telemedicine job postings across different age groups.
- 30-40 years old: 28.4 percent
- 40- 50 years old: 26. 5 percent
- 50-60 years old: 23.5 percent
- 60-70 years old: 17.6 percent
Men are More Likely to Pursue Opportunities in Locum Tenens
Conversely, when evaluating physician interest in locum tenens opportunities by gender, women were significantly less engaged than their male counterparts.
- Men’s Interest in Locum Tenens: 73.6 percent
- 40- 50 years old: 26. 5 percent
Physicians Who Live in Large Metro Areas are Most Interested in Telemedicine Opportunities
When examining physician interest by location, Doximity ranked the top U.S. metros that had the highest number of physicians expressing interest in telemedicine. The findings show that most of the physicians currently reside in highly-populated metro areas. The top five U.S. metros with the most physicians engaging with telemedicine job posts include:
- San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.
- Salt Lake City, Utah
“Our research shows that doctors are embracing telemedicine as an alternative to traditional clinical practices, which is good news for patients,” said Dr. Amit Phull, Vice President of Strategy and Insights at Doximity. “By removing physical limitations, physicians can now expand their patient-base to rural areas that are currently underserved by different specialties. If you start to view the physician shortage as a problem of where the doctors are located, which is mainly in the major metros, it’s easy to see how more telemedicine can help address this serious challenge.”
This study used data from Doximity on engagement with job postings on the Doximity network. Posted positions reflect those that were advertised through the Doximity network, the largest professional medical network with over 70 percent of all U.S. doctors as members. Engagement is defined as a physician taking action in response to a job posting by clicking on a posting to “see more,” OR submitting a resume or scheduling an input call.