Other hot tickets: drug dealers and X-ray artists

South Dakota State Roundup

Published January 1, 2002  | January 2002 issue

South Dakota is looking for a few good pharmacists and radiologists. More than a few, actually. Specialists in both professions are in short supply in South Dakota, leading to dramatic salary jumps for radiologists and renewed recruiting campaigns for pharmacists.

The pharmacist shortage is seen primarily in rural areas; 15 counties lack a single pharmacy, and state authorities estimate that 70 percent of the state's pharmacists work in the 10 largest towns. Sioux Falls and Rapid City together account for 40 percent of the total. The College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University hopes to address the shortage by increasing enrollment and reviving rural recruitment promotions.

Radiologists are in short supply, too, since medical schools focused training on primary care physicians in the 1990s. Demand has increased as imaging technology proliferates and as higher numbers of older patients require more radiology services. Average salary offers to radiologists jumped from $225,000 in 1999 to $271,000 in 2000. "It's gotten very difficult," Ed Czarnecki, a recruiter for Sioux Fall's Medical X-Ray Center, told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. "Everyone across the country is offering pretty attractive packages. Competition is tough."

Douglas Clement