Healthcare industry continues facing staffing shortages

During the period dubbed “The Great Resignation,” millions of U.S. workers quit their jobs, including more than 145,000 healthcare professionals, according to a report from Definitive Healthcare. 

Based on an analysis of billing claims, the report estimates that approximately 71,000 physicians left the workforce from 2021 through 2022. During that same period, the workforce lost nearly 35,000 nurse practitioners, 15,000 physical therapists, 13,000 physician assistants, and 10,000 licensed clinical social workers.  

The report suggests the negative effects of treating COVID-19 patients may be responsible for many of these departures. Many of these providers were in direct contact with patient populations who were most vulnerable to the virus, meaning they often dealt with long hours, depression, stress, and the emotional toll of losing patients and colleagues.  

The report suggests addressing the staffing shortage by investing in the following: 

  • Telehealth to treat patients with conditions that don’t warrant in-person visits 
  • Education and training that promotes mental and behavioral health to address burnout  
  • Graduate medical education programs to train more replacements for the depleted physician workforce  

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