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Sunday, October 19, 2008


Medical Jobs and Universal Healthcare

This election year the reform of the healthcare system and universal coverage for all are huge issues among the candidates. Nationally, this industry is one of the fastest growing. Despite this, many medical facilities are struggling to fulfill patient needs because they understaffed. Many believe that if these political promises become new policies, then a good number of healthcare jobs will be hurt and the industry will have an even harder time bringing in new workers.

A recent anesthesiologist salary survey conducted by, a physician recruiting firm, found that 63 percent of the professionals believe that universal healthcare will negatively affect their personal incomes. This firm asked 427 anesthesiologist how they felt such changes would change their earnings and found that 29 percent believed that their salaries would remain the same. Only 8 percent of participants felt that universal healthcare would cause them to make more money each year.

“We surveyed physicians in four specialties on compensation-related issues and, overall, 42 percent of respondents predicted that universal healthcare would negatively affect their incomes, while the same number predicted no effect,” said Pamela McKemie, who is the Senior Vice President of “Our anesthesiologist respondents definitely showed the highest rate of negativity about their professional outlook under a universal healthcare scenario.”

One reason that many of those with medical jobs feel that they would be losing money is because universal healthcare would meant they would receive Medicaid reimbursement rates. Some believe that this will significantly decrease the quality of patient care, because not as much money will becoming into medical facilities. Although more people will be able to afford healthcare, those with healthcare jobs will potentially be working harder for the same amount of money or less than they are now.

According to the firm’s 2007 survey, 40 percent of anesthesiologists reported that their income for the year was the same (27 percent) or less than (23 percent) than their 2006 income. Around half of the participants said that they earned more last year than they had during the previous year. Of these individuals, 28 percent reported an increase in their incomes of between 2 and 9 percent. A slightly smaller portion (22 percent) said that they experienced an income increase of 10 percent or more. For 2008 the annual salary for the average anesthesiologist was $336,374.70, which was about a 4 percent increase from last year.

Over half of this year participants, 54 percent, said they did not plan on changing jobs in the foreseeable future. Another 28 percent said that felt they would be seeking different employment within the next 12 months.

The main reason these medical professionals said they would be soon looking for a new jobs was the desire for higher pay, which 41 percent cited as the reason behind their response. Another 17 percent said that they would be job hunting in the near future in order to find a better community for themselves and their families.

On the Brightside, 73 percent of participants said that, if given the choice to start over, they would still pick medicine as their career.

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