Reflections of New Physicians
Close to one in four newly trained
physicians would select a field other than medicine if they
could begin their careers again, according to a survey by
Merritt, Hawkins, & Associates,
a Dallas-based physician search and consulting firm.
Before they even enter the world
of professional practice, many newly trained physicians are
wondering why they didn’t
chart a different course. The survey has examined the practice
preferences and concerns of physicians in their final year
of residency training every other year since 1991.
In 2003, 24% of physicians in their final year of training
would select a field other than medicine if they could begin
their careers again. By contrast, only 5% of physicians responding
to the 2001 survey indicated they would select a field other
than medicine. Prior to this year, no more than 11% of residents
surveyed in any given year have indicated they would select
a career other than medicine.
What has changed? The malpractice crisis is a factor contributing
to the negativity of newly trained physicians.
In addition, 60% of residents surveyed indicated that dealing
with managed care and other payers is a significant cause of
concern, up from 25% in 2001. More physicians surveyed in 2003
are concerned about their availability of free time, their
level of education debt, and the depth of their medical knowledge
than has been the case in the past.
The irony, CEO Hawkins observes, is that the job market for
new physicians has never been better. Close to 70% of residents
surveyed in 2003 indicated they had received 51 or more job
solicitations in the course of their residency training, and
over 40% indicated they had received 100 or more job solicitations.
The survey was mailed to 4,800 residents in their final year
of training and 350 completed surveys were received.#