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Young Doctors Disgruntled, Determined

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, April 26, 2012

"There are more applicants than ever," Goodman says. "So people are very excited about medicine; it's still the best and the brightest. It's a huge investment of time and a $200,000 plus debt. But they have these unmet expectations. Their expectation is, 'I've gone through this, I am a trained practitioner, yet I don't have the opportunity I want. There is this bombardment of regulations."


Reluctance toward hospital employment
The survey also shows perceived reluctance among young doctors about hospital employment. While 31% of the hospital-based respondents are employees of a larger group, only 12% would prefer such an arrangement, and they say they are more likely to spend two years or less working at a hospital. Most medical surgical office-based physicians say they would spend up to eight years or more at those positions.

That doesn't bode well for hospitals, Goodman says. The young physicians may feel they have more opportunities to work in a hospital, but feel "that is something I want to do on a short-term basis, and I'd rather work with other doctors in a collegial relationship."

"By saying they want to stay only two years in a hospital, what are the implications of that for a patient?" Goodman asked. "We have said for years that we need continuity of care, and make sure care is accessible and affordable, but I think this is contrary to what people are seeking. And if these doctors are pessimistic, and they have gone through all this incredible training and feel their expectations are not being met, we have a national problem. Already, we have a shortage of 150,000 primary care physicians, and then we will have 30 million more (insured patients) from the Affordable Care Act. We will need more doctors. Whether this is a passing attitude, or because of this particular time in our history, I don't know, but I'm very surprised at the level of pessimism."

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2 comments on "Young Doctors Disgruntled, Determined"

Tabor Tienty (4/27/2012 at 12:53 PM)
I find it very odd that doctors in knee-jerk fashion would blame health reform for their woes. Is it the fact that 30 million more patients will now be able to pay them? Were they comfortable in an American where 1/6th was uninsured and couldn't get to a doctor? The doctors' reaction against health reform tells me they are either highly misinformed or in it for themselves, not the patients.

Jay Staub (4/26/2012 at 11:42 PM)
Jay, do you know this guy? It is a sad story about a practice that is over their head. Hard to imagine why they can't make a decent living. A. J.