Blog Post

Closing the Looming Health Care Talent Gap (SHRM)

November 20, 2017

The United States may not be producing enough qualified doctors, nurses, specialists and health care workers to meet patients' needs, according to a body of Healthforce Center at UCSF research and a recent article from the Society for Human Resource Management.

“We have a lot of older, experienced nurses in the Baby Boom cohort who are now moving into retirement,” says Joanne Spetz, a professor for health policy studies at the University of California, San Francisco. “There are enough new graduate nurses to fill those posts, but if the skills gap is not addressed, then we could be in serious trouble.”

Some highlights from the article:

  • By 2030, the US will have a deficit of as many as 104,900 doctors and will need up to 43,100 primary care physicians. There will be a shortage of as many as 61,800 specialists including in emergency medicine and anesthesiology.
  • One of the biggest factors driving the gap is the aging US population as many nurses and other workers reach retirement age. 
  • Human resources professionals are encouraged to get creative with recruitment efforts by offering debt relief to prospective employees, provide stipends, signing bonuses and student loan repayment benefits.
  • Recruitment marketing technology allows people to do more targeted marketing strategies for individual positions.
  • Training partnerships with colleges, universities, government agencies and workforce development organizations can help close the looming health care talent gap.

Learn more from the Society for Human Resource Management.