Fighting the Critical Care Physician Shortage

Trends and solutions for combatting critical care physician shortages.

Gastroenterologists surgeon shortage

The increasing lack of intensivists is growing to be a pandemic in the medical industry. In this often over-worked group, Healthcare Global reports that almost half of the 10,000 critical care physicians in the U.S. are facing severe burnout.

Physicians are now choosing less stressful specialties. And as the population ages, more chronic health conditions will require treatment, increase the need for intensivists and drive higher salaries for these specialists. Take a look at some of the trends:

  • Intensivists often face complicated cases, long work schedules, too much responsibility and a difficult atmosphere with deathly ill patients. The stress placed on intensivists leaves hospitals unable to fill these roles.
  • According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine, up to $13 million in annual hospital cost savings can be realized when care is delivered by an intensivist-directed multi-professional team.
  • The average critical care salary in 2018 is $354,000 and has increased by 9 percent this year due to rising demands.
  • Due to the shortage, hospitalists have stepped in to fill the gaps; three-quarters of U.S. hospitalists reported treating ICU patients in 2018. Hospitalists are now being trained and provided with educational content to help further develop their critical care skills to better treat ICU patients.

If an organization is lacking an intensivist in the building, a patient can still get access to an intensivist via telehealth. Electronic systems connect ICU patient data with intensivists to treat patients in remote locations, which has been proven to shorten ICU length of stays and lower ICU mortality. Using telehealth for ICU patients as a solution to the shortage could lower costs for hospitals.

Sources: ACP Hospitalist, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Healthcare Global, Medscape, Society of Critical Care Medicine, The Hospitalist.

The tug-of-war over ICU care.

Some facilities are managing the demand for intensivists by turning to hospitalists to care for most ICU patients and focusing the efforts of pulmonologists only on the sickest patients.

Connect With Us

Federal facts for you.

We are a Federal Supply Schedule Contract holder. 

Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract: 36F79723D0086, Professional and Allied Healthcare Staffing, effective March 15, 2023, through March 14, 2028.

NAICS Codes:
  • 561320: Temporary help services. 
  • 621111: Offices of physicians. 
  • 621112: Offices of physicians, mental health specialists. 
  • 621399: Offices of all other miscellaneous health practitioners. 
  • 621330: Offices of mental health practitioners.


Once you and our client agree to move forward with your assignment, our privileging team will assist you and the client in gathering information required by the healthcare facility to grant clinical privileges.


We contact the facility’s Medical Service Office (MSO) for their application and requirements.


We will assist you by pre-populating the facility’s application and sending to the MSO.


We will assist the MSO by following up on requested items.


MSO will grant privileges based on your training and experience, and you will be able to start your assignment.

Headshot of Maggie Youmans

Maggie Youmans

Senior Vice President, Sales

As Senior Vice President, Maggie oversees several key specialty divisions and adjacent teams. With a demonstrated history of leading teams and developing individuals across the organization, she is dedicated to inspiring, challenging and empowering associates to achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Maggie earned degrees in marketing and management focused on consumer economics from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. She enjoys traveling with her husband to visit different bed and breakfasts. Together, they have been able to see the beauty within their own backyard and across the country.

Connect with Maggie on LinkedIn.

Headshot of Anne Anderson

Anne Anderson

Executive Vice President

"I'm passionate about the locum tenens industry - we make a real difference in the lives of both our heroic healthcare providers and the patients they treat."

Anne has been at the forefront of the evolution of locum tenens for more than 35 years. She’s a respected leader with expertise in corporate operations, risk management, credentialing, and travel services. Before joining Jackson + Coker, she served as Executive Vice President at Medical Doctor Associates, part of Cross Country Healthcare. 

An ardent industry advocate, Anne served several years on the Board of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), including two years as president. 

Anne received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Spring Hill College. She is also a PADI open water diver and enjoys scuba diving. 

Connect with Anne on LinkedIn.