4 High Demand Medical Specialties in a Post-Pandemic World
Between the suppressed demand for healthcare practitioners during the pandemic and the large exodus of healthcare workers during the Great Resignation, physicians are in demand post-COVID. However, you might be curious about which areas in medicine are the most sought-after by healthcare organizations and their recruiters.
Some specialties are especially critical as the general population ages, and the need for more medical care grows. Here are the top four specialties you should consider if you are looking for a career that will stay in demand in the future.
Average Salary: $215,502-$269,000
In the wake of the pandemic and recession, more patients need mental health help. In fact, close to 20% of Americans experience some kind of mental illness. Psychiatrists are in high demand to help address this crisis.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities in psychiatry will increase 13% from 2020 to 2030, far more than any other specialty. Psychiatrists assess both the mental and physical aspects of mental health. They talk with patients about why they are seeking psychiatric health, as well as order and interpret psychological and lab tests. Psychiatrists use many treatments, such as psychotherapy, medication, and various interventions. Their ability to address the mental health crisis makes them one of the most in-demand areas of medicine today.
Average Salary: $313,100- $425,300
Skin care is an exploding market and increasing the need for dermatologists. Between an overall aging population looking for cosmetic procedures, an increase in acne, and a rise in skin cancer, the role of dermatologists will likely become even more critical in the years to come.
Dermatology requires a wide range of knowledge since they diagnose and treat over 3,000 skin, nails, and hair diseases. Some dermatologists choose to expand their practice and focus on medical issues or cosmetic treatments. There are many reasons to become a dermatologist: it is lucrative and doesn’t often require overtime or late-night emergencies. Dermatology might be the ideal specialty if you want to help people but avoid middle-of-the-night emergencies while still being in demand.
#3: Gastroenterology (GI)
Average Salary: $337,027- $471,426
Gastroenterology positions are in high demand, and employers are desperate to fill them. One survey found that 63% of medical employers have an open GI position and two-thirds stayed unfilled. Gastroenterology will likely continue to be a vital specialty as the number of Americans over 65 is anticipated to almost double by 2060.
GI physicians diagnose and treat the conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract, such as diseases of the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile duct, and colon. They treat everything from pancreatitis to gastroesophageal reflux to cancer. You probably won’t regret choosing gastroenterology: a recent survey of GI physicians found that 93% would keep the same specialty if they could go back and choose again.
#4: Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob-Gyn)
Average Salary: $279,801- $388,000
Although the BLS expects the number of overall Ob-Gyn positions to go down in the next decade, the U.S. is facing a crippling shortage of Ob-Gyn practitioners that will ensure physicians stay in high demand. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimated a shortage of up to 22,000 doctors by 2050 before the pandemic. In the wake of the Great Resignation, this number will likely go even higher.
Physicians specializing in obstetricians and gynecology provide medical and surgical care for women’s health. Although they are under one department, obstetrics and gynecology are two separate specialties: obstetricians care for pregnant patients and their babies through childbirth, while gynecologists treat female reproductive conditions. Some Ob-Gyns may lean more heavily on obstetrics or gynecology, while others do both equally.
Find the Right Specialty for You
There are a lot of decisions that should weigh into which specialty you choose, including future demand. If any of these areas of medicine piques your curiosity, learn more about it to ensure it aligns with your skills and interests. It might be the right specialty for you!
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