pregnant woman being examined by her OBGYN
Specialty Spotlights October 25, 2019

OBGYN Job Outlook: Is there a Shortage of Obstetricians/Gynecologists?

We won’t belabor the facts, the OB/GYN job outlook is great, and the health care industry is in need of obstetrics and gynecology specialists. By 2020, the U.S. will have a shortage of 8,800 OB/GYN specialists, according to the Huffington Post, and that is the plainest way to deliver the numbers.

“It’s very simple,” said William Rayburn, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. “Our population is continuing to grow faster than we are producing OBGYNs.”

OB/GYN Supply and Demand

Demand for OB/GYN care in the U.S. is projected to increase +6% by 2020, according to the Journal of Women’s Health. There are 19 states anticipating an increase in demand of at least 3 percent and eight that have an expected increase of more than 10 percent, according to a 2017 report by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“There is a gale-force wind on the demand side,” said Edward Salsberg, director of the Center for Workforce Studies.

A key driver of the demand increase and impending shortage of obstetricians/gynecologists? One in seven OB/GYN specialists has stopped delivering babies, according to an ACOG report. And, 20 percent of practicing professionals have cut back on high-risk obstetrics. A lot of this is driven by the availability and affordability of professional liability insurance.

“Both professional liability concerns and the practice of defensive medicine are detractors to most OBGYNs,” according to the ACOG report.

Also per the report, about 90 percent of all OB/GYN specialists in 2006 and ‘09 had at least one claim filed against them at some point in their careers, which led 60 percent to change their practice and is continuing to drive surgeons out of the specialty at a relatively early age.


OB/GYN Salary/Compensation Outlook

While OB/GYN compensation is increasing (the average women’s health care provider makes about $280,000 in 2017, per, up about $65,000 from the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report), malpractice premiums usually are extremely high and are not adjusted to a physician’s level of practice volume, according to the ACOG report.

OB/GYN has the second most first-year residency program applicants of any surgical specialty at 1,777, according to ACOG. But these residents won’t enter practice until at least 2020. So while there are many surgeons in training who are eager to help ease the demand burden, there is still a strong need for seasoned professionals.

Look to Staff Care for the most updated information on the OB/GYN job outlook, and for information on locum tenens OB/GYN job opportunities. We offer a solution to the challenge of high insurance premiums: we provide licensing and credentialing assistance, cover travel and housing logistics, and most important – you are covered by our medical malpractice policy.

In addition to these benefits, all working providers are eligible for CME courses offered through our medical malpractice insurer – all at no cost.

We have no shortage of career assistance for OB/GYNs, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other specialty physicians, Staff Care has locum tenens jobs that are right for you.


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