1 in 4 New Docs Regret Career Path

John Commins, 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?

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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