There may not be enough physicians to go around, according to Merritt Hawkins' “2011 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents." More than 75 percent of new doctors surveyed said that they had received at least 50 job solicitations during their training period, further outlining the nation’s physician shortage.
Of the 300 physicians surveyed, nearly half said that they had received 100 or more solicitations, according to the Irving, Texas-based Merritt Hawkins, an AMN Healthcare company that provides physician search and consulting. "Even in a stagnant economy, new doctors are being recruited like blue chip athletes," noted James Merritt, founder of Merritt Hawkins. "There are simply not enough physicians coming out of training to fill all the available openings."
The company said that the national physician shortage is responsible for the large number of job solicitations aimed at new doctors and said that the number of new physicians trained in the U.S. has remained flat for over 20 years. “The general population has become both larger and, on average, older, driving the need for doctors upward,” according to the survey.
Additionally, the firm reported that many residents have second-guessed their career choice, with 29 percent responding that if they started their education again, then they would have chosen a different field. The majority of new physicians surveyed said that they would prefer employment in a hospital while only 1 percent said they would prefer being employed at solo practices.
In the era of healthcare reform, 42 percent of new grads said that they were unprepared to handle the business side of medicine and 56 percent said that they received no formal training about the medical business, including compensation arrangements and reimbursements.
Lastly, only 4 percent of those surveyed said that they would prefer to work in rural communities of 25,000 people or less.