Residents' Choice

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2

Every year, the Center for HealthWorkforce Studies at the University ofAlbany (chws.albany.edu) surveys thefuture plans of recent medical residentgraduates in New York State. In 2001,the last year for which a detailed analysishas been published, more than halfof those responding planned to enterclinical practice. Of those, almost 75%had committed to a hospital-ownedpractice or a group practice with threeor more doctors. Only 3% planned tostart a solo practice. Among the factorsin those choices are the staggering studentdebt that most residents have builtup (averaging about $104,000 pergraduate), which leads them to prefer asteady paycheck to the financial uncertaintiesof solo practice.