Pennsylvania physicians are getting older, and more of them are women.
There also are more licensed and practicing physicians in the commonwealth than there were in 2004, according to the “Pulse of Pennsylvania’s Physician and Physician Assistant Workforce” publication from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Planning.
The report is based on the 2012 licensure survey that was completed during the 2012 license renewal period.
In it, the average age of physicians licensed rose to 51.4 years in 2012, which was up from 51 in 2002. The average age of practicing physicians increased to 49.7 years from 48.2 years in 2004.
In less than six years, 27 percent of physicians anticipated leaving direct patient care in Pennsylvania with retirement as the primary reason, according to the report.
The number of practicing female physicians rose to 32 percent in 2012 from 26 percent in 2004. Licensed female physicians increased to 30 percent from 25 percent.
Nationally, states retained 67 percent of active physicians who completed their medical education and residency in that state. In Pennsylvania, it was 58 percent, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges.
“The recent report highlights several trends we have been watching in Pennsylvania for some time, including an increase in female physicians and an increase in the employed physician segment,” said Michael Fraser, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. “This data will be used by PAMED to inform our advocacy efforts to increase the physician supply in Pennsylvania, in conjunction with other groups such as the Joint State Government Committee that is looking at the issue of the physician workforce shortage in the commonwealth.
PAMED also said it plans to use the data to focus member resources and tools to the interests and demographic of current Pennsylvania physicians.