Physicians crossing state lines: Interest Index shows some surprising trends

Posted by Doximity TF Team

dox-heat-mapEighty seven percent of physicians are open to new jobs, but exactly where in the U.S. are physicians exploring new opportunities? Using a specialized Interest Index, Doximity is applying a proportional score to U.S. jobs based on the number of clicks, applies, and responses to Job Posts and DocMails (Doximity’s messaging platform) by physicians, and the results show some surprising trends.

Physicians working in New York and California, for instance, are exploring opportunities in both Florida and Georgia. In fact, interest in moves to these states appeared at the top of the Doximity Interest Index. But what’s driving physicians out of New York and into states like Florida and Georgia?

As recruiters are well aware, physicians are becoming frustrated with the constraints of a medical system that doesn’t always let them do their jobs the way they prefer. Physician burnout is also at an all-time high (a new study shows that one out of every two doctors is experiencing it). But there may be some specific reasons that one state is better (or worse) to practice in than another.

In New York, recent research by the Center for Health Workforce Studies indicates that the number of physicians trained there and who actually remain in New York has dramatically declined in the past decade—from 53% in 2001 to only 44% in 2012. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, in 2012, New York had 16,022 residents and 68,273 active physicians.

When we ask doctors about the reasons why they're leaving [New York], one is opportunities, but another is proximity to family. People come here to train, then return home to practice." -  Jean Moore, director of CHWS

It appears medical-liability insurance costs in New York could be a factor, too—they’re the highest in the nation. A neurosurgeon in Long Island, for instance, pay a one-year premium that’s more than some doctors in the state earn in a year ($330,000). What’s sobering for New York is that physicians there generate a total of more than 570,000 jobs—or 10 jobs for every doctor—according to the state's Medical Society. 

States like Georgia may soon be reaping the rewards of what the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce calls a promising trend. One report shows Georgia ranked 39th in the ratio of doctors per 100,000 population in 2010 (the latest year for available data)—a slight improvement from Georgia’s 40th-place ranking in 2008. What’s more, Medicare already gives a 10% bonus payment to physicians who provide care in certain types of doctor-starved Georgia communities, and under the new health legislation those same doctors will receive an additional bonus depending on the type of care they provide. The physician workforce in Georgia is also growing more racially diverse. And about 10% of Georgia doctors speak Spanish.

map_of_lagrange_gaIf physicians are looking to small towns, the “beautiful and temperate” town of LaGrange, Georgia was named as the best Small Town in the Southeast region of the U.S. in the 2014 Medscape survey of Best Places to Practice. Citing a low cost of living (9% lower than Atlanta) and great recreational opportunities, the county also has a solid manufacturing base.

So how do Doximity physician members learn about new jobs from physician recruiters? They can opt in to receive targeted career opportunities by preferred location, schedule, and compensation via Doximity Talent Finder, a tool created for specifically for physician recruiters. To make the time-consuming application process much simpler, Doximity also just announced the “Apply Using Doximity,” tool for physician candidates. With one click, all U.S. physicians can quickly submit their verified online profile as a curriculum vitae (CV) for an open job opportunity, and a recruiter can reach out to the physician directly.

Doximity will continue to analyze how and where physicians are exploring new opportunities and report more on Interest Index scores at a later date. It's worth noting that physician recruiter activity also impacts the Interest Index scores—they change over time as physician recruiters generate demand in lower scoring states through job posts and candidate outreach. 

If you're not using Doximity Talent Finder to find great physician candidates for your opportunities, you can try it for free now.

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 LaGrange, GA photo courtesy of

Topics: why physicians are leaving New York, New York, Georgia, Doximity's Interest Index

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