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1 in 4 New Docs Regret Career Path

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 17, 2011

Yes, there are a lot of negatives associated with practicing medicine these days. But that holds true for just about every occupation. Times are hard. Everybody is hurting. Relatively speaking, physicians hold a privileged status in this country, which is reflected in their high compensation and the high esteem in which they are held by their communities.

Frankly, it's selfish and unseemly to complain about your career choices in a field that provides six-figure compensation for new hires, while millions of your fellow citizens -- through no fault of their own -- don't have a career.

Thankfully the Merritt Hawkins survey reminds us that 72% of new physicians -- such as Katie Imborek – are satisfied with the choice they made.

"I know that I am supposed to be doing this, which is exactly what I want to do with my life," she says. "I love the relationships I have with my patients and colleagues and I feel so very privileged and humbled by the experiences I get to share with families in times of great need. I do feel like I am lucky that I will be getting to make more money than I ever would have imagined doing a job that I love."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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12 comments on "1 in 4 New Docs Regret Career Path"


Stevie RN (10/20/2011 at 3:43 PM)
I agree with 10 out of the 11 comments, written by articulate & well-informed readers. Truly, Commins has a problem, not the least of which is cynicism and a critical spirit. An annual salary of $50,000 working 80 hrs/wk is about $12/hr... high stress & no sleep. Give me a break! I'd be whining a little too. I have a guess, though, that of the 29% questioning their decision, I'll estimate that decreases by at least half within the following year, when they've had some time to have a more "normal" life. May God bless them all. Thank you to them for their dedication.

pinkcarnations000 (10/20/2011 at 12:17 AM)
I think this article is badly written. Bias and cynical. Many people leave the profession for reasons that you are not aware of. Using opinionated judgement without a reasonable cause is not a good reporting style. Analogies of work/pay are outright degrading to physicians as well as janitors, grocery clerks, etc.

Nancy K (10/20/2011 at 12:00 AM)
It's 29% of Merritt Hawkins' 2011 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents.