The Medicus Firm Blog

November 11 2021

New Survey Finds That an Increase in Healthcare Providers Preferred to Live in Rural Areas During the Height of the Pandemic

The Medicus Firm's Latest Survey Takes a Deep Dive into Work-Life Balance for Physicians

DALLAS, TX – Nov. 11, 2021 – The Medicus Firm, a national healthcare recruitment firm, released today its 18th annual “Provider Practice & Relocation Preference Survey” to assess providers' practice and geographical location preferences in a COVID-19 environment.

This survey, conducted in August 2021, had more than 1,200 physicians and advanced practice provider professionals in a variety of specialties respond.

Compared to 2019, the 2020 report found a 20 percent increase in the desire of healthcare providers preference in a rural community over a city, with an 18 percent decrease in preference in 2021. The Medicus Firm believes this is connected to pandemic-induced behavior of the desire to be living in a less populated environment and the increase interest in providing telehealth in 2020.

“Last year was truly unchartered territory, and that shaped the way everyone, even physicians, went about their lives. With cases rising daily, there was a lot of apprehension in regard to living in densely populated areas,” said Nathan Miller, Chief Executive Officer at The Medicus Firm. “Now that we’ve adapted to a pandemic-sensitive lifestyle, we’re seeing geographic preference level out with the increase in demand for healthcare services and more opportunities available in larger cities,” said Miller.

Other notable findings from the survey reflected the effect of the shut down and result of elective cases being put on hold, limiting an anticipated income increase in 2021. Those findings include:

  • 52% stated they did not have quality or value-based income in 2020.
  • 20% of respondents stated Covid-19 would limit income in 2021.
  • 79% of respondents stated that 0-10% of their 2020 income came from telehealth.

“As the pandemic and its aftermath continues, many physicians had expectations of a compensation increase in 2021 due to the rise in patient volumes with Covid-19,” said Jacob Simon, Chief Operations Officer at The Medicus Firm. “On the other side of the pandemic’s effects, burnout is a real issue for physicians. In a survey we conducted earlier this year, it was found that 57 percent of provider respondents considered changing employers in the last 12 months due to burnout and 35 percent said that burnout is a primary factor of early retirement. That’s a scary reality,” said Simon.

To read the survey in its entirety, please visit or email

Share This Post

Click a social channel below to share

Share post on Linkedin Share post on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Post