Number of physicians statewide up nearly 12% since 2009, report says

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published August 26, 2014

The total number of physicians in the S.C. workforce increased by 11.8% between 2009 and 2013, according to a new edition of the S.C. Health Professions Data Book (.pdf).

The reference book’s fourth edition, which was released by the statewide Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning, said there were 1,210 more physicians in 2013 than in 2009.

The book’s data were compiled by the Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning in the S.C. Area Health Education Consortium program office at the Medical University of South Carolina. The office is funded by The Duke Endowment and is a collaboration among the consortium, the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, and the Office of Research and Statistics within the S.C. Budget and Control Board.

Family medicine and general practice physicians increased by 9.5%, and internal medicine physicians were up 15.4%, the book said. The number of pediatricians also increased by 14.9%, according to the book. There were three fewer general surgeons in 2013 than in 2009, but all other specialists, as a group, grew by 13.8%, which equates to 740 more physicians in South Carolina.

In the same time frame, about 4,000 more registered nurses were added, which is a 12% bump, and there were almost 460 new pharmacists, which is about 11% more than in 2009. Nearly 300 physician assistants were added, for about a 41% increase, while the number of occupational therapy assistants went up about 37% and nurse practitioners increased 32%.

The number of clinical nurse specialists remained the same, respiratory care practitioners decreased 2.4%, licensed practical nurses went down 3.1% and dental technicians decreased 8.8% across the state, the book said.

In Charleston County, there were nearly 200 family practice physicians with primary practices in the county as of June 30, 2013. There were 30 in Berkeley County, and 34 in Dorchester County. About 330 internal medicine physicians practiced in Charleston County, five practiced in Berkeley County and three practiced in Dorchester County, according to the book.

Midway through 2013, there were 115 obstetrics and gynecology physicians in Charleston County, none in Berkeley County and nine in Dorchester County. There were also 189 pediatric physicians in Charleston County, six in Berkeley County and nine in Dorchester County, the book said.

The most recent license renewal data used by the book to compile optometrists’ data ended Sept. 30, 2012. In Charleston County at that time, there were 61 optometrists with primary practices in the county. There were 14 in Berkeley County and 10 in Dorchester County.

Select health care providers and population characteristics for 2013


Location

S.C.

Anderson

Beaufort

Berkeley

Charleston

Dorchester

Florence

Georgetown

Greenville

Lexington

Orangeburg

Pickens

Richland

Spartanburg


Physicians

11,373

370

354

64

2,832

86

453

168

1,642

424

148

127

1,522

698


RNs

37,754

1,320

1,118

204

6,347

458

2,267

704

5,228

1,814

668

496

5,408

2,445


Dentists

2,170

79

134

50

342

64

68

29

255

140

29

45

220

121


Pharmacists

4,570

170

128

83

716

76

175

83

512

297

76

104

538

310

General hospital beds

12,096

495

262

0

1,754

104

871

255

1,468

444

247

164

1,497

825

% adults without health insurance

24.0

24.9

25.2

23.3

23.6

21.2

22.5

27.2

24.1

21.0

26.2

24.2

20.3

24.4

Per capita income

$35,056

$32,640

$42,952

$34,762

$43,642

$34,921

$36,171

$38,904

$39,130

$37,224

$30,702

$29,363

$38,195

$33,162

Source: S.C. Health Professions Data Book

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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