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Survey: New Doctors Receive Dozens of Job Solicitations
Date:9/11/2008

But 18% Would Choose Another Field

IRVING, Texas, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 90 percent of newly minted physicians received at least ten job solicitations during their training, and 80 percent received two dozen or more solicitations, according to a new survey conducted by Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, a national physician search firm based in Irving, Texas and a division of AMN Healthcare.

"Like blue chip athletes, new doctors are the subject of intense recruiting efforts," notes Mark Smith, president of Merritt, Hawkins & Associates. "There are simply not enough physicians coming out of training to fill all the available openings."

The Merritt, Hawkins survey asked 290 physicians in their final year of training how many times they had been contacted by recruiters seeking to interest them in jobs. Ninety-four percent said that they had received 10 or more job solicitations during the course of their training, while 80 percent said they had received 26 or more job solicitations. Forty percent said they had received over 50 job solicitations, while six percent said they had received over 100 job solicitations.

According to Smith, a national physician shortage is likely responsible for the large number of job solicitations directed at new doctors. The number of new physicians being trained in the United States has remained flat for over 20 years while the general population has become both larger and, on average, older, driving the need for doctors upward. As a result, newly trained physicians in almost all specialties are in high demand.

Despite a favorable job market, however, some new doctors are unhappy about their choice of a profession, according to Smith. The survey asked new doctors if they would study medicine if they had their education to do over again, or if they would select another field. While 82 percent said they would select medicine, nearly one in five (18 percent) said they would select another field.

"Many doctors today are unhappy with how medicine is being regulated and reimbursed," Smith observes. "Even new doctors are not immune to disillusionment."

The survey also conveys some bad news for rural areas, which traditionally have had a hard time attracting newly trained physicians. Only four percent of doctors surveyed by Merritt, Hawkins said they would prefer to practice in communities of 25,000 people or less. The majority (64 percent) said they would prefer to practice in communities of 100,000 or greater. In addition, only one percent of physicians surveyed said they would prefer a solo practice. The majority (61 percent) would prefer to be employed by medical groups or hospitals.

"The days of new doctors hanging out a shingle in solo practice are over," Smith says. "Most new doctors want to focus on seeing patients, not on running a medical practice."

A summary of Merritt, Hawkins & Associates' 2008 Survey of Final Year Medical Residents can be accessed at http://www.merritthawkins.com or by calling (800) 876-0500.

About Merritt, Hawkins & Associates.

Merritt, Hawkins & Associates is the largest physician search and consulting firm in the United States and is a division of AMN Healthcare, the largest health care staffing company in the United States and the largest in all four of its service lines: travel nurse staffing, locum tenens staffing (temporary physician staffing), physician permanent placement and travel allied staffing.


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SOURCE Merritt, Hawkins & Associates
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