The Job Market for Doctors Is Booming—and There’s a ShortageMay 20, 2019
America is benefiting from an historic bull market in employment, and no group is benefiting more than doctors. Newly-minted doctors are choosing from multiple job offers, getting paid more sumptuously than ever, and can practice pretty much wherever they want. At the same time, the way they practice is shifting radically, as more and more physicians choose salaried positions with hospital chains and group practices encompassing thousands of MDs.
But the new corporate model is so hamstrung by the trickle of newly-minted doctors entering practice each year that it can’t come close to meeting the needs of an America whose senior ranks will swell by 46% over the next two decades. The magic of the market is circumventing that roadblock by creating loads of fresh capacity in the form of walk-in clinics, dialysis centers, and other neighborhood venues, staffed by increasing ranks of nurse practitioners, that can provide the care and wellness for patients with chronic conditions who’d otherwise wait weeks to see a primary care doctor, or don’t even have one.
A new study by Merritt Hawkins, America’s largest physician search firm, points to seven trends that are reshaping the how healthcare is delivered. “2019 Survey: Final-Year Medical Residents,” polled doctors months from finishing their residencies and entering the job market. Here’s what they found–and what it means for you.
New doctors get loads of offers
Merritt Hawkins found that two-thirds of the final-year residents received 51 or more solicitations from recruiters, hospitals, medical groups and others, and that 45% were presented 100 or more job opportunities.
Pay expectations are great; actual pay is greater
How much did the residents expect their first jobs to pay, based on their conversations with potential employers? A lot. Eight-one percent expected to start at over $201,000, and 21% said they were looking at $326,000 or more. It was the specialists, including surgeons, who anticipated the richest packages, with more than half anticipating comp above $325,000. By contrast, only 24% of primary care residents, a category consisting of internists, pediatricians and family doctors, reckoned they’d make over $250,000. Based on Merritt Hawkins’ surveys of actual first year pay, both groups may be underestimating their initial pay. On average, Merritt Hawkins found, the three primary care groups earn an average of $250,000, while beginning pay is $386,000 in urology, $405,000 for otolaryngology, and $533,000 for orthopedic surgery.
New doctors want to work in cities