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Doctor Job Market Demand

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by sistermike, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    Hey there, ok I am curious about something. Ok after someone finishes their residency, does that person usually stay at the same hospital and take on a career there or does the average person usually go off and get a job at another hospital? And one more thing, is the demand for doctors these days high or low? Because I would hate to think that someone goes through school and residency for 12 years and come to find out there really isn't a place for him/her right now!
     
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  3. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by sistermike:
    <strong>Hey there, ok I am curious about something. Ok after someone finishes their residency, does that person usually stay at the same hospital and take on a career there or does the average person usually go off and get a job at another hospital? And one more thing, is the demand for doctors these days high or low? Because I would hate to think that someone goes through school and residency for 12 years and come to find out there really isn't a place for him/her right now!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">*There is no preordained rule that governs occupational prospects outside of residency. While it is true many stay on in a particular location, after building friendships, alliances, community, there is no hard and fast rule. As many people stay as look elsewhere for employment.

    *The government has been perpetuating a subterfuge over the last 15 years or so that had the public and medical establishment believe there was an oversupply of physicians. What we are learning now is that not only was this NEVER true, but we are seriously short-handed by tens of thousands RIGHT NOW! With the aging population, the problem is expected to become a serious health care concern. Virtually every field of medicine will benefit. Having said that, don't go into medicine for job security or salary. While you might get away with that line of reasoning in other professions, medicine takes over a significant part of your life, and unless you really love it, following the medical path towards money and security strictly will lead to an unhappy life.
     
  4. carddr

    carddr Senior Member
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    Questin? Klebsiella, in your opinion which medical field is/will suffer the most signficant shortage?

    Original question, some go into teaching, private practice, research, another hospital, or as stated stay where they trained, some even leave the profession,like to start a family, some chose consulting, and also medical supply companies/drug companies, offer attractive packages to Drs. Some chose to work for the gov't, some do third world mission work, such as "Doctors Without Borders","Operation Smile", etc..some write medical/how to, books,papers, and even become Surgeon General of the US, work on legislation to change and improve the profession, some head up the Professional organizations/or associations and lobby in Wash. for the medical profession. The opportunies are unlimited for well-educated and trained Drs. Great profession IMHO.
     
  5. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by fatimadr:
    <strong>Questin? Klebsiella, in your opinion which medical field is/will suffer the most signficant shortage?

    Original question, some go into teaching, private practice, research, another hospital, or as stated stay where they trained, some even leave the profession,like to start a family, some chose consulting, and also medical supply companies/drug companies, offer attractive packages to Drs. Some chose to work for the gov't, some do third world mission work, such as "Doctors Without Borders","Operation Smile", etc..some write medical/how to, books,papers, and even become Surgeon General of the US, work on legislation to change and improve the profession, some head up the Professional organizations/or associations and lobby in Wash. for the medical profession. The opportunies are unlimited for well-educated and trained Drs. Great profession IMHO.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Fatimadr,

    Your absolutely correct. There is a wealth of opportunity for an MD/DO too exhaustive for me too list here. Virtually any occupation can probably use a medical expert/consultant in some capacity. In any case, this degree opens up doors many of us don't know even exist.

    Regarding your specific questions about fields that will benefit the most, I would have to say the specialists. The reason for this is said federal subterfuge misled the medical establishment into specialty care needs. What this meant is many specialties, like GI actually cut 100's of slots to forestall the supposed glut. Cardiologists are in great need as well, and there are very powerful lobbies attempting to create 100's of more slots.

    Other non-medicine fields like Neurology have faced dire shortages for so long, and the population boom of octogenarians will only serve to exacerbate the problem more.

    The need for Anesthesia, Radiology, and ER is well known.

    I would be hard pressed to identify one specific field that wont be needed in greater demand. If forced to, I suppose FP in densely populated regions will be in lower demand, but job opportunities across the country should still remain quite rich.

    Bottom line, things are looking good from a job security standpoint for all of us. Hopefully the salary will follow. Choose what you love and don't look back.

    Regards
     
  6. MacGyver

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    Umm... I seriously doubt there was a major cut in residency programs. Please provide a link of this.

    Truth is residency programs (of any specialty) are a HUGE cash cow for hospitals. Each slot is funded at $100,000 per year per resident by Medicare, so basically its free money (from the hospital's perspective anyway)

    the hospitals have to use some of that money to pay residents and for malpractice coverage, but anything after that is pure profit.

    In fact, the number of residency programs since 1980 has increased far greater than the population increase.

    Those that say there is a physician shortage are just as wrong as those who said there was a surplus several years ago. The truth is that there is a surplus in the cities and a shortage in the rural areas, the same way its been for nearly 40 years now.
     
  7. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by MacGyver:
    <strong>Umm... I seriously doubt there was a major cut in residency programs. Please provide a link of this.

    Truth is residency programs (of any specialty) are a HUGE cash cow for hospitals. Each slot is funded at $100,000 per year per resident by Medicare, so basically its free money (from the hospital's perspective anyway)

    the hospitals have to use some of that money to pay residents and for malpractice coverage, but anything after that is pure profit.

    In fact, the number of residency programs since 1980 has increased far greater than the population increase.

    Those that say there is a physician shortage are just as wrong as those who said there was a surplus several years ago. The truth is that there is a surplus in the cities and a shortage in the rural areas, the same way its been for nearly 40 years now.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">While you are entitled to your opinions, you are not entitled to your own facts. It is actually commonplace to adjust Residency slots to match perceived market trends. GI for example used to have greater than 600 slots. Today there is roughly half that number. Whether this FACT syncs with your idea about fiscal responsibility is another issue entirely.

    Your sweeping generalization about current market trends is equally suspect. I direct interested readers to the following study:

    <a href="http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/uploads/wmj/ACF205.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/uploads/wmj/ACF205.pdf</a>

    Judge for yourself.
     
  8. carddr

    carddr Senior Member
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    Macgyer:
    I'm not talented in the world of finance but I hear a lot about hospitals closing because of the lack of $$$. There's plenty of pts to go around but there is strong resistance to hire
    "extra" residents or permanently expand the number of residents. And if you do come in to the program as an "extra" the government doesn't pay for you, the way it does for others. The department pays...so I would have to assume if the hospital chooses to provide the best care possible they may have to use some of that $100k for "extras" and thus actually lose money in their commitment to the community. Just a thought.
     
  9. halothane

    halothane Senior Member
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    Medicine will always be a relatively green field fairly resistant to the uncertainties of the job market. All this ho hum about hospitals closing and etc. etc is humbug. Come on the population is gonna hit 400,000 by 2050. Physicians retire earlier than before, there are more women physicians who compared to male physicians work fewer years . They are clamping down on FMG immigration etc. Residency spots are goin empty, takes days to get physician appointments, most doc. offices are busy, job posts in anesth, radio, neuro go unfilled for months. Its getting very hard for fill faculty positions in specialities, the list goes on :p . All this when the rest of the country reels from record unemployment. Look around the evidence is obvious. Physicians are gonna be OK for the next 50 years no probs. And about that thing about surgery ...if $$ are driving one to do surgery its a big mistake. The work that surgeons have to put in takes away any plus that the profession might have to offer in terms of monetary compensation. Besides genral surgeons only rake in as much as say a primary care physician to start with...so specialization a must for any big $$, bu then if money is the motive, if lifestyle is the motive surgery is a no no. Its only for those gung ho I love surgery guys, otherwise I see no way of surviving in surgery.
     
  10. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    I don't know about GI spots but I know that diagnostic radiology went from 1100 spots 4 years ago to 870 last year because of the predictions of a surplus of radiologists. Instead there is a severe shortage of rads. Now they've increased them back to 940 and will probably increase it even more next year.
     
  11. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I have no idea where the physician job market is heading (surplus or shortage) but there has been some strange things posted here.

    Klebsiella, that link you provided is interesting but is more an op-ed piece. He cites some physican model (although I have been unable to find any other references in any other literature in regards to this model) but gives few statistics and figures to backup his claim nor does he describe what the model takes into account. I couldn't judge anything either way from that article. Just sounded like someone in academia that wants more schools built.

    Halothane, I think some of your figures are a bit off. We are far from record unemployment. In the early 1980s the unemployent rate was more than double what it is today (<a href="http://www.stls.frb.org/fred/data/employ/unrate" target="_blank">link</a>). Also, according the <a href="http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/summer95/population.html" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau</a>, the U.S. population is not expected to reach 400 million (I assume you meant million and not thousand) until well into the latter part of the 21st century.
     
  12. Goofy

    Goofy Senior Member
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    Mpp,

    You are correct, but that oped has been published in a couple of journals.

    Actually, there was a fairly respectable study done on just this topic within the last three months. I attempted to locate it in the journals last night to no avail. I will keep trying though.
     
  13. MacGyver

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    Well, if there was a decrease, it was because of the government cutting back the funding, NOT because of the hospitals themselves deciding to pull residency slots.

    If the hospitals could, they would apply for many more residency slots because of the Medicare funding.

    I could probably find at least 10 well documented studies several years ago that said there would be a large surplus. What happened to those studies now? My point is that these new studies proclaiming a shortage are just as wrong as the previous studies which claimed there would be a surplus.

    Take the one you posted for example. It has zero statistics or real scientific methodology, and seems to be based largely on personal opinion and anecdote. Not exactly the kind of thing we want to formulate a policy on medical education around.
     
  14. halothane

    halothane Senior Member
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    I am sorry I actually meant 4 million and by saying record unemployment I merely meant as far as i could remember. I was three in 1980!! But even in those hard times was it not supposed to be the golden era for docs. Well que sera sera! were in this now and well hold on as long as it holds.
     
  15. maverickDO

    maverickDO Member
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    One of the problems we run into is the definition of "surplus" or "shortage". What is the criteria for a balanced supply? Different studies use different criteria and methodoligies, therefore, have a different target supply. For example, how do we know if 1 Cardiologist per 500 persons is adequate, a shortage, or a surplus? Also, there are unknows that we just cannot predict. Things like new technology, new treatments, new surgeries, government budget decisions, etc...

    So your guess is as good as mine. However, considering the aging population, more diagnostic precedures, more treatments, and scientific breakthroughs, I tend to lean on the side of a looming physician shortage. But there we go again with vague terms like "shortage". What is a shortage?
     
  16. rtk

    rtk Member
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    Another thing to keep in mind regarding physician job market is that health care, and particularly physician provided care, does not follow simple supply and demand economics.

    The demand for physicians follows advances in technology. This is demand-driven economics. As medicine becomes ever-more specialized, these practices become the 'standard-of-care'. There then becomes a demand for these specialized services. An example: although the incidence of CAD in England and the US is nearly equal, a US citizen is 6x's more likely to undergo PTCA. Revascularization is a standard of care in the US and additionally there a far more Cardiologists in the US than England.

    Another example is the current change in recommendations for colon cancer screening&gt; Now it is recommended to perform Colonoscopy vs Flex Sig/BE for screening. This requires subspecialists (GI's) and has also become a standard of care.

    As medical technology continues to advance, so will the demand for physicians, particularly sub-specialists...
     

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