1 in 4 New Docs Regret Career Path

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 17, 2011

Physician recruiters Merritt Hawkins this month issued a survey that found that more than 75% of new doctors received at least 50 job offers during their training. Nearly half of those new docs got 100 or more new job offers.

This is not surprising. Even in the worst economic stagnation since the Great Depression, doctors are in high demand for any number of reasons that we're all familiar with.

What is surprising, however, is that more than one-in-four of these young doctors – 28% of about 300 physicians in their final year of training   say that if they had to do it all over again they'd choose another profession.

The new docs identify the usual suspects -- declining reimbursements, rising costs, malpractice concerns, and the changing landscape in the medical profession -- as the source of their dissatisfaction.

Well, cry me a river!

The fact that more than one-in-four young doctors regrets his or her career path is not alarming. It's maddening. My ire, however, is directed not at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or at trial lawyers, but at this bunch of soon-to-be-earning-six-figures whiners.

What exactly did you expect? What or who was the source of those expectations you embraced in your impressionable youth when you decided to dedicate your life to healing? What exactly were they telling you in medical school? More importantly, if your dedication to this noble profession is so fleeting that you're ready to quit before you've really even started, why did they admit you to medical school the first place? Isn't there a process to weed out people like you?

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12 comments on "1 in 4 New Docs Regret Career Path"

Stevie RN (10/20/2011 at 3:43 PM)
I agree with 10 out of the 11 comments, written by articulate & well-informed readers. Truly, Commins has a problem, not the least of which is cynicism and a critical spirit. An annual salary of $50,000 working 80 hrs/wk is about $12/hr... high stress & no sleep. Give me a break! I'd be whining a little too. I have a guess, though, that of the 29% questioning their decision, I'll estimate that decreases by at least half within the following year, when they've had some time to have a more "normal" life. May God bless them all. Thank you to them for their dedication.

pinkcarnations000 (10/20/2011 at 12:17 AM)
I think this article is badly written. Bias and cynical. Many people leave the profession for reasons that you are not aware of. Using opinionated judgement without a reasonable cause is not a good reporting style. Analogies of work/pay are outright degrading to physicians as well as janitors, grocery clerks, etc.

Nancy K (10/20/2011 at 12:00 AM)
It's 29% of Merritt Hawkins' 2011 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents.




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