New Doctors Recruitment is Up

If you haven’t turned sour on being a physician, then right now is a good time to be a new doctor. New physicians are being aggressively recruited, although almost a third of new doctors admit they would choose another field, according to a Merritt Hawkins survey.

A national physician shortage has led to a large number of solicitations directed at new doctors, with over 75% of new physicians receiving at least 50 job offers during their training. And a little less than half of new physicians received more than 100 solicitations, which is up significantly from only 6% in 2008.

“Even in a stagnant economy, new doctors are being recruited like blue chip athletes,” said James Merritt, founder of Merritt Hawkins, in a statement. “There are simply not enough physicians coming out of training to fill all the available openings.”

According to the firm, the number of new physicians being trained has remained flat over the last two decades in the U.S. However, the need for doctors has increased because the general population has not only been growing, but also it has been getting older.

Despite the high employment in the job field, 28% of new doctors would select a different field if they could go back. This number is up from 18% in 2008 and is directly related to the changing industry landscape.

“With declining reimbursement, increasing costs, malpractice worries and the uncertainly of health reform, the medical profession is under duress today,” Merritt said. “It is not surprising that many newly trained doctors are concerned about what awaits them.”

These new physicians are also much less likely to start an individual practice — only 1% — and instead are in line with many experienced physicians who are gravitating more toward hospital employment. A third of respondents would prefer to be employed by a hospital, which is up from only 22% in 2008.

When new doctors were considering practice opportunities available to them, geographic location was by far the most important factor. Only 4% of doctors would prefer practicing in rural communities, which traditionally have a hard time attracting newly trained physicians, according to Merritt Hawkins.

These new doctors also have very high hopes for compensation. A third of respondents are expecting to earn at least $251,000 in their first professional practice, while less than 10% expect to earn $125,000 or less.