New physicians face an abundance of job offers, with over half receiving 100 or more during their training. However, more than 80 percent experience burnout during this period, leading 30 percent to reconsider a medical career. Gender pay disparities persist, with female physicians expecting lower earnings. Most new doctors prefer hospital employment over private practice, possibly due to inadequate business training. This situation, combined with burnout, threatens healthcare staffing. Healthcare leaders are primarily concerned about clinician shortages and staffing challenges in the coming year.
Newly Trained Physicians Encounter Abundance of Job Offers, Yet Burnout Leaves Its Mark on Career Choices
During their medical training, more than 80 percent of new physicians report experiencing burnout, adding to the complexities of the healthcare workforce. A survey conducted by AMN Healthcare has revealed that over half of these emerging doctors receive over 100 job offers during their training, but a significant number express reservations about choosing medicine as a career.
The “2023 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents: Many Job Choices, Many Reservations” gathered responses from 241 physicians in their final year of residency training.
An astonishing 56 percent of the respondents disclosed that they received 100 or more job offers from hospitals, medical groups, and physician recruiters during their training. This figure is the highest recorded since the survey’s initiation in 1991, underscoring the pressing demand for physicians amidst staffing shortages. Nearly 80 percent of these physicians received 51 or more job solicitations.
Despite this flurry of job opportunities, 30 percent of the respondents expressed regret, stating that if given a chance to start their careers anew, they would not choose medicine. This is also the highest percentage of discontent recorded since the inception of the survey.
Significantly, physician burnout is not limited to seasoned practitioners; over 80 percent of residents reported experiencing feelings of burnout at times during their training, with 45 percent indicating that they often or always felt burnt out.
Leah Grant, President of AMN Healthcare Physician Solutions, expressed concern, saying, “It is concerning that many new physicians already feel burned out before they enter their first practice. Physician burnout at all career stages remains a public health challenge that must be addressed.”
Amidst these challenges, gender disparities persist, as female residents anticipate earning less in their initial practices compared to their male counterparts. About 80 percent of male residents expect to earn $251,000 or more, while only 58 percent of female residents share this expectation, even within the same specialties. This divergence in income expectations may lead to female physicians being less assertive in contract negotiations, perpetuating income disparities between male and female doctors.
The survey also revealed that new physicians have specific preferences regarding their practice locations. For instance, only 2 percent of respondents prefer practicing in communities with populations of 10,000 people or fewer, and 4 percent favor communities with populations of 25,000 or fewer.
New physicians also exhibit a preference for employment rather than pursuing an independent, private practice. Nearly 70 percent of respondents listed hospital employment as one of their top two choices for their initial practice setting, while just 6 percent favored a private independent practice.
Surprisingly, most residents (61 percent) reported receiving no formal instruction on the business aspects of medicine during their training, which may explain their reluctance to consider running a private practice. Furthermore, 41 percent of residents admitted feeling unprepared to handle the business side of medicine.
This hesitance among new residents, coupled with significant burnout, threatens to exacerbate staffing challenges in healthcare facilities. A recent survey by symplr revealed that healthcare leaders are primarily concerned about clinician shortages, staffing difficulties, and nursing shortages in the coming year.