HR Strange But True!
September 11, 2008

They say everything is relative, but reading that new doctors are overwhelmed by too many solicitations for jobs with starting salaries in six figures may leave you sympathy-deficient.

A survey conducted by Merritt, Hawkins & Associates, a nationwide physician search firm based in Irving, Texas, shows that 80 percent of graduating medical students received over 25 solicitations during training-- 40 percent received over 50, and 6 percent received over 100!

The recruitment frenzy, which also occurs for new registered nurses, is a result of graduating classes that have remained flat for the past 20 years as well as a general shortage of doctors and an aging population requiring more medical services.

"There are simply not enough physicians coming out of training to fill the available openings," says Mark Smith, president of Merritt Hawkins, adding that grads in all specialties are in high demand.

Demographics are a factor in recruiting efforts. According to the survey, the majority of respondents (64 percent) are looking for jobs in cities with more than 100,000 residents, with only 4 percent looking for jobs in communities of 25,000 or fewer residents.

And despite starting salaries that start in low six figures and go to $400,000 for radiologists and $250,000 for cardiologists, many students surveyed said they were unhappy with their career choice, with 1 in 5 respondents saying they would choose a different field if they could do it over. "New doctors are not immune to disillusionment," says Smith.

Also, the survey finds the days of the "country doc" may be numbered; only 1 percent of respondents were interested in starting a solo practice.

Source: Merritt, Hawkins & Associates

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