Physicians see fewer recruiting offers

Fewer jobs are being offered to physicians in their final year of training in 2021 compared to previous years — likely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey released May 11.   

The survey also suggests that female physicians are receiving more job offers during their training than their male counterparts, but expect to earn less.

Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, conducted the survey of 103 final-year medical residents (59 percent male, 40 percent female) in March and April. Merritt Hawkins has conducted the survey periodically since 1991. The latest 2021 edition includes the caveat that there were fewer survey responses this year relative to previous years, partially because fewer email addresses for final-year medical residents were available this year compared to years prior. Merritt Hawkins said disruptions related to the pandemic may also have inhibited the number of responses.

Ten survey findings:

1. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents received 26 or more recruiting offers this year, compared to 82 percent in 2019, and 86 percent in 2017.

2. Thirty percent of survey respondents said they received 100 or more recruiting offers, compared to 45 percent in 2019.

3. Although physicians saw fewer recruiting offers, 86 percent of residents still got 11 or more during their training. Merritt Hawkins said this shows most new physicians are still finding available jobs.

4. Seventy percent of female residents reported 26 or more recruiting offers during their training, compared to 54 percent of male residents.

5. Thirty-eight percent of female residents expect to earn $251,000 or more in their first practice, whereas 76 percent of male residents said the same.

6. Forty-five percent of survey respondents said they are very or somewhat concerned about COVID-19 health risks, and most (93 percent) said they are very or somewhat concerned about their ability to earn a good income.

7. Forty-five percent of respondents said they would prefer hospital employment as their first practice setting, compared to other types of settings.

8. Three percent of survey respondents strongly agreed that the pandemic had caused them to rethink their decision to go into medicine. Nearly half (49 percent) strongly disagreed.

9. 21 percent of survey respondents said they would not choose medicine again if they could do over their education and training.

10. Three percent of survey respondents would prefer to practice in communities of 25,000 people or fewer.

Read more about the survey here

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