Nov 21, 2013
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How does the current and projected job market factor into your choice to pursue a particular specialty? Is it the most important factor in your decision? Where exactly does it fit in your list of importance relative to income, lifestyle, etc.?

Personally, it is the most important factor for me. I can see myself enjoying a lot of the specialties out there so I feel I might as well pursue specialties that are projected to be in demand by the time I graduate. I also do not want to be that physician that has to complete multiple fellowships in order to compete for the very limited job openings to be available in the unforseeable future.

It is discouraging to read the numerous articles on unemployed specialists (at least in Canada) knowing that they most likely have an insane amount of debt. No matter how highly regarded a particular specialty is in terms of income, lifestyle, prestige, etc., I find that pursuing certain specialties is absolutely useless if I am highly unlikely to secure a stable job after residency.

Just my thoughts. Please share yours.
 
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I don't think the job prospects of a specialty should be the MOST important factor in deciding but it should be one of several factors you assess when making an informed mature decision about your future career. Of course there are many people who just "follow their heart" and don't appreciate that this is actually a multi factorial decision. For instance going into anesthesia without seriously considering the (grim) future of the specialty would be a huge mistake.
 
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Extremely important. I'm not working this hard and sacrificing this much to struggle to find a job. Unless you're financially prepared to retire, one of the most important things is job security (or availability of other jobs).
 

KinasePro

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If you're an AMG with no red flags, I wouldn't worry about being unemployed in any field of medicine. Even the worst markets have jobs available, though the particulars of jobs may be less-than-ideal. So don't let the rads/gas/path/neuro markets scare you if you actually love those fields.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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If you're an AMG with no red flags, I wouldn't worry about being unemployed in any field of medicine. Even the worst markets have jobs available, though the particulars of jobs may be less-than-ideal. So don't let the rads/gas/path/neuro markets scare you if you actually love those fields.
Neurology?
 

KinasePro

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Neurology?
Yeah, evidently some of the neuro markets are rough at the moment. Don't know much about it, just heard residents complaining. Most neuro folks seem to want to specialize anyway, so I think its really a non-issue for most. Just do a stroke/epilepsy/neuro crit care fellowship and job opportunities improve.
 

link2swim06

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If you're an AMG with no red flags, I wouldn't worry about being unemployed in any field of medicine. Even the worst markets have jobs available, though the particulars of jobs may be less-than-ideal. So don't let the rads/gas/path/neuro markets scare you if you actually love those fields.
Exactly. If you are ok being forced to work in rural america (no offense) then any specialty will probably be ok.

However, you may not be able to find many jobs with the pay, location, and hours you want in certain specialties compared to others.
 

gators21

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Exactly. If you are ok being forced to work in rural america (no offense) then any specialty will probably be ok.

However, you may not be able to find many jobs with the pay, location, and hours you want in certain specialties compared to others.
Wait, I can't be the most respected Plasticneurospace cowboy surgeon in NYC, working noon to 2 MWF while making millions of dollars?
 

BurghStudent

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Personally, I expect to become to Rocket Surgeon. What's the market like?
 

Wordead

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Do you really think you can accurately predict what the job market will be like in 6 years? We don't even know what healthcare is going to look like.
 
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Law2Doc

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Do you really think you can accurately predict what the job market will be like in 6 years? We don't even know what healthcare is going to look like.
Agreed. Things are getting better or worse cyclically in most fields. The landscape in many fields has already drastically changed since I started residency. Mny people who chose supposedly job friendly paths are struggling with the rest. Now in particular it's especially hard to predict much because it's unclear what healthcare will look like in 5-6 years. So you can consider this but I don't think you should let it overrule things you enjoy.
 

jeffblue

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Do you really think you can accurately predict what the job market will be like in 6 years? We don't even know what healthcare is going to look like.
I can confidently assert that Internal Medicine, Hospitalsts and any general physician will be in severe demand. You know what that means? YOu re in the drivers seat. ANd believe me, that's a nice place to be. I know from experience of not being in the drivers seat. And also believe me on another thing. When you re in the drivers seat, that's worth at least 75-95 k.
 

EndersRebutal

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Honestly trying to project what the job market will be like in the next few years would be difficult if not impossible considering all the changes and the uncertainty in the medical industry. You also have to take into account how much things can change throughout a 20 - 30 year career. Personally, I just don't worry about it ( at least not right now) I have enough on my plate with classes and personal responsibilities. Luckily as an MS-1 I have the benefit of being able to watch how this Affordable Healthcare Act thing plays out and I can plan accordingly.
 

Wordead

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I can confidently assert that Internal Medicine, Hospitalsts and any general physician will be in severe demand. You know what that means? YOu re in the drivers seat. ANd believe me, that's a nice place to be. I know from experience of not being in the drivers seat. And also believe me on another thing. When you re in the drivers seat, that's worth at least 75-95 k.
Right, because there's no way midlevels will play a role in demand. Or reimbursement will change. And it's not like there are a bunch of proposals to increase primary care residencies. Good thing a medical student (or pre-med, most likely) has accounted for every variable that goes into health care and is making an informed decision.
 

tco

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I'm doing radiology, so the current job market obviously has no impact on my specialty choice. I picked it because I enjoy the work, want to do IR, and no one knows what it will be like in 6 years. 6 years ago, Rads was booming.

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notbobtrustme

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Right, because there's no way midlevels will play a role in demand. Or reimbursement will change. And it's not like there are a bunch of proposals to increase primary care residencies. Good thing a medical student (or pre-med, most likely) has accounted for every variable that goes into health care and is making an informed decision.
Despite all that, the trend is definitely going towards greater primary care reimbursements. There's only so much a midlevel can do and I wouldn't be surprised if their malpractice rates go up significantly if they start taking on an independent role as insurance companies are nothing if they aren't great at reducing expenditures.
 

Wordead

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Despite all that, the trend is definitely going towards greater primary care reimbursements. There's only so much a midlevel can do and I wouldn't be surprised if their malpractice rates go up significantly if they start taking on an independent role as insurance companies are nothing if they aren't great at reducing expenditures.
Would be interested in seeing what you're referring to when you say "trend".

The malpractice is pure speculation and rather optimistic.
 

Etorphine

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TBH I think about it from time to time, but more important for me is that I enjoy the work.