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Special Report: Where Primary Care is Headed Next

  • Article by:Health Career Center

Each year, we conduct the Healthcare Talent Scan — a snapshot of America’s healthcare employment landscape. And each year, we discover new trends shaping not only healthcare hiring practices, but also the field as a whole. 

This year was no exception. In addition to gaining valuable insights on the impact of telemedicine and millennials’ influence on care delivery, we also learned a great deal about the future of Primary Care. 

Here were some of the most important things we learned about where Primary Care is headed next. For a closer look at our complete findings, download the entire 2016 Healthcare Talent Scan at

1. Management of chronic illnesses is of paramount importance

Each year, Americans spend $1.5 trillion (yes, with a T) of their healthcare dollars on managing chronic illnesses. That’s three out of every four dollars spent on healthcare, period. 

Considering that half of Americans suffer from at least one chronic illness — including 85 percent of elderly people, who are only growing in number — smarter management of chronic illnesses is incredibly important. Not just for the health of U.S. citizens, but for the U.S. itself. 

2. Physicians need to continue improving their listening skills

The sheer volume of cases isn’t the only challenge posed by chronic illnesses. This type of illness also puts doctors in a position they aren’t normally trained to handle: fixing the unfixable. 

To treat illnesses that have no end in sight, primary care physicians will have to sharpen their listening skills and take a more individual approach to each patient. As a general rule, experts suggest that doctors speak less than 50 percent of the time during each appointment.

3. General primary care physicians could make a comeback

Today’s care models increasingly reward preventative care measures and overall health achievements. As a result, we’re seeing a shift from specialist-driven healthcare to more general, big-picture care delivery.

From a staffing perspective, this means we may start to see a drop in the hiring of specialists, and a rise in general and family practitioner hiring.

4. More focus on behavioral health

Integrated care models are placing more importance on how behavioral health factors into overall care. That means you can expect to see more physicians screening for behavioral health issues earlier in the process such as during primary care visits and focusing more on behavioral issues like depression in the near future. 

Want to learn more about where Primary Care is headed next? Download the 2016 Healthcare Talent Scan at now. And while you’re there, be sure to check out our job boards for the latest opportunities with leading employers from all over the country.