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Saturday, September 13, 2008


Healthcare Jobs for Doctors in Abundance

A shortage of properly trained individuals means that there will continue to be plenty of healthcare jobs for new doctors. According to a recent report released by Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, which is a national physician recruiting firm based in Irving, Texas and part of AMN Healthcare, over 90 percent of physicians receive ten or more job offers during the course of their training.

The report also found that 80 percent of these individuals receive two dozen or more job offers. The firm asked 290 physicians who were in the last year of their training to figure out how many had been contacted by recruiters.

“Like blue chip athletes, new doctors are the subject of intense recruiting efforts,” said president of Merritt, Hawkins & Associates Mark Smith. “There are simply not enough physicians coming out of training to fill all the available openings.”

The survey found that 94 percent of the participants received 10 or more offers, while 80 percent were contacted by 26 or more different employers or recruiters. Of these, 40 percent said that they had 50 separate job offers, while six percent had more than 100 employers who wanted them to join their staff.

Smith says that a national shortage of doctors is likely the reason that doctors are receiving this many job offers. Over the last 20 years, the number of individuals being trained as doctors has remained basically flat. Since the population has grown in this time and the percentage of individuals that are elderly in the country has increased, this is a particular problem. The demand for doctors and others with a variety of healthcare jobs has rise while the supply is still limited.

Although the current job market is in favor of doctors, some are unhappy with their professional choices, Smith says. The survey asked participants if they would have studied medicine if they were able to go back and start over again or if they would have chosen a different career and found that 18 percent, or almost one out of five, would have pick a different field. The majority, 82 percent, said they would have made the same decision.

“Many doctors today are unhappy with how medicine is being regulated and reimbursed,” Smith concluded from the results. “Even new doctors are not immune to disillusionment.”

The survey also looked into where doctors are deciding to work and found out that news is not good for small town medical facilities. Only four percent of participants reported that they would prefer to take a job in a community with fewer than 25,000 residents. Most of those survey, 64 percent, hoped to practice medicine in area with a population of 100,000 or more.

Interestingly, only 1 percent of participants said that they liked the idea of a solo practice. The largest portion, 61 percent, wanted to be employed by medical groups or hospitals.

“The days of new doctors hanging out a shingle in solo practice are over,” said Smith. “Most new doctors want to focus on seeing patients, not on running a medical practice.”


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