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It breaks my heart to read the pharmacy threads, most of them can't find jobs and if they do find jobs, the jobs are crappy. I don't feel as bad for lawyers or CRNA's.
Will it ever happen in medicine? Business people opening too many new med schools to reel in the bucks, flooding the market with new grads, lowering salaries and making it very difficult to find jobs. I know there is supposedly a physician shortage, but there was also supposedly a nursing shortage, and a pharmacist shortage. Am I the only one who thinks liberty university COM should not happen?
 

374018

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There isn't a physician shortage. There is a disparity. Could it happen that doctor job market become saturated, yea of course. But you will be fine over the next few years.
 

postbacpremed87

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The market might become tighter, but I think the length of our training will decrease the chance of it becoming a full blown crisis like pharm. There is a certain segment of the population that cannot stomach 4 years of medical school + a minimum of 3 years of residency. The average physician is older and it takes a long time to train doctors so I see the shortage continuing at least the next decade. The impending residency crisis on the other hand....
 

dismorfik

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Don't have an answer to your question but on a side note:

Obviously we all know what you mean by "Medicine," but the fact it's differentiated from nursing and pharmacy makes it seem like this is not "our" problem.
 

FrkyBgStok

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I don't think medicine in general will go this route, but i do see certain specialties going this route. Word is it is already happening with pathology. I forsee it happening with EM as well. You get these jobs that pay great money and work little hours and people flock to them. just talking to people, more people want EM than any other specialty right now. i could be wrong as the burnout rate is very high for EM, but the point is, specialties aren't immune to it. things go in cycles and i am wary of anything that is "really hot."
 

cliquesh

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Medicine is somewhat protected because of the limited number of residency spots. I think if you complete a residency you'll always be able to find a job. However, I also believe, at some point in the not too distant future, more and more students will go unmatched because of all of the new osteopathic schools and expanded MD schools.
 

dsoz

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My feeling is that in some fields it will take more than a residency to be marketable. There are already a couple of fields that almost require a year or two of fellowship to get one of the primo jobs that are not in the middle of nowhere.

But if you want to work in the middle of nowhere, the field is largely wide open.

dsoz
 
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It breaks my heart to read the pharmacy threads, most of them can't find jobs and if they do find jobs, the jobs are crappy. I don't feel as bad for lawyers or CRNA's.
Will it ever happen in medicine? Business people opening too many new med schools to reel in the bucks, flooding the market with new grads, lowering salaries and making it very difficult to find jobs. I know there is supposedly a physician shortage, but there was also supposedly a nursing shortage, and a pharmacist shortage. Am I the only one who thinks liberty university COM should not happen?
There are new DO schools constantly opening up these days. There are also new MD schools. The rate of growth of DO schools is much faster than MD schools. I do feel there maybe a point where the DO degree could lose its value. I read that by 2020, nearly one in five medical students will be at an osteopathic school.

I still think you will have a job at the end of it, but the lifestyle and income for doctors has been on a downward trajectory for a while. A lot of people have a picture in their head of owning a fancy car and living in a nice house with a country club membership. Many doctors these days actually live fairly modest lives.
 

GUH

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It breaks my heart to read the pharmacy threads, most of them can't find jobs and if they do find jobs, the jobs are crappy. I don't feel as bad for lawyers or CRNA's.
Will it ever happen in medicine? Business people opening too many new med schools to reel in the bucks, flooding the market with new grads, lowering salaries and making it very difficult to find jobs. I know there is supposedly a physician shortage, but there was also supposedly a nursing shortage, and a pharmacist shortage. Am I the only one who thinks liberty university COM should not happen?
As long as there are thousands of unfilled residency positions each year, there is still room for more medical students.
Sure, not everybody will get the Plastics residency at the big-city academic center that they dreamed of when they were kids.
Tough break.

That being said, there is no all-encompassing "physician shortage". There is a shortage of primary care physicians in rural areas.
 

darklabel

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It breaks my heart to read the pharmacy threads, most of them can't find jobs and if they do find jobs, the jobs are crappy. I don't feel as bad for lawyers or CRNA's.
Will it ever happen in medicine? Business people opening too many new med schools to reel in the bucks, flooding the market with new grads, lowering salaries and making it very difficult to find jobs. I know there is supposedly a physician shortage, but there was also supposedly a nursing shortage, and a pharmacist shortage. Am I the only one who thinks liberty university COM should not happen?
If you go to a top tier law school you're fine.
My fiancee, who's a nurse and is going to school to be a CRNA, says that while new grads may have some issues (especially those that graduate from not-so-strong programs), once you clear that initial hurdle of getting your first job, then you'll be fine.
Pharmacy is becoming a problem and they are opening new schools faster than MD and DO.

Do realize that people tend to complain A LOT on these message boards. Also, the reason these fields are becoming saturated is because of a distribution problem and the economy hasn't been picking up yet. There was a pharmacy shortage a few years ago and it was common to be getting any job you want, anywhere you want, but now that not-so-reputable schools opened up like hot cakes and grads have to work hard to get a job (you know, like every other job in America), its all whining and crying.

In my opinion, go to the best school you can get into, work hard and don't think that you'll just get job offers flying at you once you graduate. New DO schools opening up is an issue, but just make sure to go to the best medical school possible. Some people will defend the new schools opening up, such as Liberty, but I'd be very wary about them. This train of thought doesn't apply to new MD schools though.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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As long as physician are required to complete an American residency before being authorized to practice in the US, medicine in general is protected. However, once the government decides to remove this obstacle and allow foreign trained doctors to come and practice medicine without completing a residency training here in the States, doctors will flood the market and the medical profession is ruined for good.

That being said, I agree to some of the posts above that some specialties are projecting to hit a brick wall in the near future, it may not be as bad as this site portrays. Take radiology or pathology as an example. These two specialties were very hot during the past two decades. They offered the ultimate lifestyle. After years of training thousands of pathologists and radiologists the market become very saturated. It's all about supply and demand. As a result of the mass production of physicians in these fields, fewer and fewer jobs became available and the salaries declined. On the other hand, because pathology and radiology have less physical demands than other specialties, physicians in these fields tend to retire significantly later than others. Therefore, one may expect to see a relatively older population in pathology than, say, in EM. This has also contributed to the saturation of the field, but this will not last. Soon (over the next decade) about one-third of practicing physicians will retire. Many of those will be pathologists and radiologists. As a result the job market will bloom again.

If you pay attention to the history of medicine, you would notice that everything is cyclic. Look at today's the hot fields (Derm, Ortho, Gas, and EM). Few decades ago these field were less desirable. I remember reading on SDN that those who couldn't match into IM went Ortho. On the other hand CT surgery was the specialty of the elites. Cardiac surgeons were portrayed as celebrities. Today, the CT is among the least competitive GS fellowships.
 

touchpause13

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Short answer: no.

Long answer: no because of the bottleneck effect at the residency level. Also you should stop making so many threads
 
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EMDO2018

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In my opinion, go to the best school you can get into, work hard and don't think that you'll just get job offers flying at you once you graduate. New DO schools opening up is an issue, but just make sure to go to the best medical school possible. Some people will defend the new schools opening up, such as Liberty, but I'd be very wary about them. This train of thought doesn't apply to new MD schools though.

As far as matching goes, would it be better to go to a less competitive school where you could be top 10% of the class, or a more competitive school where the competition is steeper the classes are harder and you graduate in the bottom 10%?

If both schools have decent rotations, which applicant would fare better ACOM=top10%, PCOM=bottom 25%.
 

darklabel

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As far as matching goes, would it be better to go to a less competitive school where you could be top 10% of the class, or a more competitive school where the competition is steeper the classes are harder and you graduate in the bottom 10%?

If both schools have decent rotations, which applicant would fare better ACOM=top10%, PCOM=bottom 25%.
As a pre-med, I don't have many answers but I can tell you from what med students told me and what I've read on SDN.
It depends what you're after. ACGME doesn't really care which DO school you go to since most DO schools are viewed as the same. Best thing to do would be to rotate there and take the USMLE.

As for AOA, PCOM is affiliated with a hospital that offers a lot of AOA positions, so it is a bit of a no-brainer which of the two would be better. You can be bottom 25% at PCOM but having great board scores and great clinical grades and rotations there can go a long way.
 
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SurgeDO

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As far as matching goes, would it be better to go to a less competitive school where you could be top 10% of the class, or a more competitive school where the competition is steeper the classes are harder and you graduate in the bottom 10%?

If both schools have decent rotations, which applicant would fare better ACOM=top10%, PCOM=bottom 25%.
The one with higher board scores and better audition rotations. Grades and class rank are nearly irrelevant.
 

NurWollen

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My feeling is that in some fields it will take more than a residency to be marketable. There are already a couple of fields that almost require a year or two of fellowship to get one of the primo jobs that are not in the middle of nowhere.

But if you want to work in the middle of nowhere, the field is largely wide open.

dsoz
Probably true of pharmacy as well. Seems like a disproportionate number if SDNers want to live on the coasts.
 
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TheWeeIceMan

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Like most people have said, medicine will probably never reach the saturation levels of law because of the residency issue. Never thought I'd say this, but thank god the federal government is broke.
 

novafan3000

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Valid question, but I think as long as a physician can practice privately, i don't see a shortage of jobs. i believe marketing will eventually come into play as well, as well as patient retention by providing effective service and being a genuinely compassionate physician. the ACA is about to supply the system with a whole flood of new patients anyway.
 
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The one with higher board scores and better audition rotations. Grades and class rank are nearly irrelevant.
From what I gather on SDN, residency placement depends on

board scores,
clinical grades,
LOR's,
audition rotations, And people always say how you do on the boards depends on "you!" and not the school. So lets say a top student 30 mcat 3.6 sgpa, that could have went to KCOM, went to ACOM, Marian, wherever, if this student studies long and hard, he'll probably do well on the boards. LOR's, clinical grades, and audition rotations all depend on how good your people skills are.
 

notbobtrustme

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As far as matching goes, would it be better to go to a less competitive school where you could be top 10% of the class, or a more competitive school where the competition is steeper the classes are harder and you graduate in the bottom 10%?
At USMD schools, you'll be surprised where people were waitlisted. Even at a low rank school like mine (RFU), we have people who were waitlisted at UCSF, Mayo, Northwestern, UofC, etc etc. What a school ranks and the caliber of students is not related at all. So much of the admissions process is junk that any acceptance is to be celebrated.
 

group_theory

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Medicine is unique compare to other fields like law, nursing, pharmacy, etc. There is still a bottleneck to prevent oversaturation of physicians ... residency. All states require at least 1 year of residency to obtain an unrestricted license ... others require more (and some states require DOs to do an AOA approved intern year). A lot of states require IMGs to do at least 3 years of residency to obtain unrestricted licenses.

The question is - because of the bottleneck, will non-physicians try to bypass physicians (ie increase midlevels, expanded privileges for pharmacy/DPTs etc)?

And medicine is a very wide field - there are some areas of medicine where there is a shortage of physicians, other areas where there is saturation of physicians, and other areas of medicine where this is a maldistribution of physicians. And nothing is ever static - things change (albeit slowly). What is saturated now can become a shortage field in the future, and vice versa.



As long as there are thousands of unfilled residency positions each year, there is still room for more medical students.
Sure, not everybody will get the Plastics residency at the big-city academic center that they dreamed of when they were kids.
Tough break.

That being said, there is no all-encompassing "physician shortage". There is a shortage of primary care physicians in rural areas.
In rural areas, there are shortages of everyone - from specialists to primary care. In urban areas, primary care are in demand, but so are some specialities which happen to be in short supply nationwide. Hence why it's important to do specific research about your specific field, and not just do a generic search.


The number of unfilled spots is getting fewer and fewer every year. Last year, there were less than a thousand unfilled spots through the match.

From the 2013 NRMP residency Match (data from NRMP 2013 Match Data)

Total number of PGY1 spots available through NRMP (including transitional year, preliminary medicine, preliminary surgery) - 26,392
Total number of matches for PGY1 spots through NRMP - 25,463
Number of unfilled spots through NRMP - 929
Total number of unique applicants for PGY1 spots through NRMP - 40,335 (25,463 matches, 8,892 unmatched, 2814 withdrew, and 3166 submitted no rank list)

Breakdown of applicants (to PGY1 spots only, those who match PGY2 but not PGY1 counts as unmatched for this purpose)
Seniors of US MD School - 17,856 (16,390 matched, the rest went unmatched, withdrew, or submitted no rank list)
Previous graduates of US MD School - 1,768 (1487 matched, the rest went unmatched, withdrew, or submitted no rank list)
Students/Graduates of DO School - 3627 (2019 matched, the rest went unmatched, withdrew, or submitted no rank list)
Students/Graduates of Canadian Medical School - 34 (14 matched, the rest is same as above)
US Citizens Students/Graduates of International Medical School - 6882 (2706 match, the rest is same as above)
Non-US Citizen Students/Graduates of International Medical School - 10,133 (3601 matched, the rest is same as above)

In 2012, there were 22,934 matches for PGY1, and in 2010, there were 21,749 matches. 2013 had 25,463.




From what I gather on SDN, residency placement depends on

board scores,
clinical grades,
LOR's,
audition rotations, And people always say how you do on the boards depends on "you!" and not the school. So lets say a top student 30 mcat 3.6 sgpa, that could have went to KCOM, went to ACOM, Marian, wherever, if this student studies long and hard, he'll probably do well on the boards. LOR's, clinical grades, and audition rotations all depend on how good your people skills are.
Since I am an interviewer for a residency program as well as a fellowship program, and participate in the ranking meetings for both programs, let me give you my perspective (and it's only my perspective)

board score - important (failure or barely pass, decreasing trends, or scores not consistent with academic records - raises eyebrows)
clinical grades - somewhat important. Interested in how you performed in various rotations, the more honors or high pass, the better. I look at the histogram from the MSPE as well as overall class rank, along with board score, to give me a sense of your "academic" prowess.
LORs - unless it is a well-known name in the field, or from someone I know personally - I just check to make sure there is nothing unusual from the LOR. Almost everyone's LORs is strong and excellent so a lack-luster LOR will sink you, while a glowing LOR won't necessarily help unless you have it from someone well-known in the field (or from someone I know) - and a lackluster letter from someone famous can also sink you too.
Audition rotations - if it is at my place, then in addition to LORs, I try to get input from the faculty and residents that you've worked with. If it is at another place, I try to see how you did, rotating at a different hospital. Since I know 3rd/4th year DO clinical rotations are highly variable, I focus on the type of rotations you did as a 3rd/4th year (probably more so than the other interviewers who are not DOs). I want to know you've rotated at a major university teaching hospital, worked well on a team, and thrived in that environment. I don't want your first inpatient experience to be as an intern on wards.

Interviews - to make sure you are a normal person. It's also an opportunity for you to explain any red flags or concerns. I look at your personal statement and extracurricular activities (and prior work experience) to get a sense of who you are, and to start the conversation. Not interested in testing medical knowledge. It's more to see if you are "normal" that I can work with, the residents can work with, and the faculty can work with.

It's extremely rare for someone to interview so well that it bumps them up a few spot on the rank list. More likely the interview has minimal impact. Sometimes the redflags cannot be overcome and the committee decides to not rank, despite a good interview. A few occasions, the committee have decided not to rank someone due to poor interview performances (usually it's a consensus from the committee, so it's not just one interviewer having a grumpy day).

The "residency crunch" has been felt for the past few years, as there have been more applicants to our programs every year ... and we are getting pressure from admin to prioritize US MDs over DOs and IMGs. (when it comes to who to interview, and making the rank list)
 
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As a pre-med, I don't have many answers but I can tell you from what med students told me and what I've read on SDN.
It depends what you're after. ACGME doesn't really care which DO school you go to since most DO schools are viewed as the same. Best thing to do would be to rotate there and take the USMLE.

As for AOA, PCOM is affiliated with a hospital that offers a lot of AOA positions, so it is a bit of a no-brainer which of the two would be better. You can be bottom 25% at PCOM but having great board scores and great clinical grades and rotations there can go a long way.

More DO graduates are probably going to get pushed into primary care or AOA residencies. Over the past several years more DOs are at MD residency programs but I do not think that is going to last. Some ACGME programs have IMGs but no DOs and vice versa as well.

I think the number of DO schools and enrollments are growing too quickly, which I think could negatively affect the value of the degree.
 
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More DO graduates are probably going to get pushed into primary care or AOA residencies. Over the past several years more DOs are at MD residency programs but I do not think that is going to last. Some ACGME programs have IMGs but no DOs and vice versa as well.

I think the number of DO schools and enrollments are growing too quickly, which I think could negatively affect the value of the degree.

I agree, though as most have said residency is the bottleneck. But for some reason I honestly hate Liberty COM, they may as well give Devry and Ashford University a COM. Its a joke.
 
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I agree, though as most have said residency is the bottleneck. But for some reason I honestly hate Liberty COM, they may as well give Devry and Ashford University a COM. Its a joke.

The Osteopathic schools have made great strides to gain acceptance by the mainstream medical community. There was a time not too long ago when DOs faced considerable discrimination. The rapid expansion of new DO schools in my belief is undoing the progress. There are also various schools that open multiple branch schools, being franchised like fast food outlets.
 
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I think it is also important to consider the number of those retiring out of medicine compared with those entering. There is no where near the number of new graduates entering the market to compensate for the number of those retiring in the next 10 years. Law schools graduate 40,000 new lawyers every year. In contrast, there were under 18,000 medical school graduates in 2011 (http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-medical-school-graduates/), while it was predicted in 2011 that 250,000 docs will retire within the decade (http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/warnings-doctor-shortage-go-unheeded). That leaves approximately 7,000 openings per year overall. Even with the increase in DO schools, they are not making up for 7,000 openings every year over the next decade. In my state alone, 100 of 120 counties are without a full-time PCP (83%).

If the PPACA cheer squad is to be believed, think of 30 million more Americans entering the insurance marketplace. It's hard to believe that there could be such a thing as too many physicians in that scenario.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I think it is also important to consider the number of those retiring out of medicine compared with those entering. There is no where near the number of new graduates entering the market to compensate for the number of those retiring in the next 10 years. Law schools graduate 40,000 new lawyers every year. In contrast, there were under 18,000 medical school graduates in 2011 (http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/total-medical-school-graduates/), while it was predicted in 2011 that 250,000 docs will retire within the decade (http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/warnings-doctor-shortage-go-unheeded). That leaves approximately 7,000 openings per year overall. Even with the increase in DO schools, they are not making up for 7,000 openings every year over the next decade. In my state alone, 100 of 120 counties are without a full-time PCP (83%).

If the PPACA cheer squad is to be believed, think of 30 million more Americans entering the insurance marketplace. It's hard to believe that there could be such a thing as too many physicians in that scenario.
I agree with you on the principle but your numbers are off. First there will be ~26K American medical graduates (MD and DO). Second, the number of medical graduates is meaningless. What we care about is the number of residency graduates. As of now, we are graduating ~27K board-certified physicians per year. This number will increase to 30K within the next decade. Meaning, in 10 years we will have added ~300K new physicians to the market. I estimate that one-third of practicing physicians are going to retire sometime in the next decade. That's ~250K retiring and ~300K entering the market. If you adjust for the expansion of population, the increasing number of aging citizens, and the effect of ACA, then yes, we will have a deficit in the number of physicians. However, we also need to account for the increasing numbers of midlevel providers. The number of new PA's/NP's/CRNA's that will be added to the market within the next decade will more that sufficiently compensate for the projected "shortage" of physicians. I am in no way implying that midlevels provide the same quality care, however.