As a member of the National Association of Physician Recruiters (http://www.napr.org/), I've recently had the privilege of seeing an article prepared by Tammy Jamison, a Senior Physician & Executive Recruiter with the Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network in Allentown, PA. Tammy's article is filled with statistics about the physician recruiting market. I'd like to share some of her well researched details with you.
The Changing Face of Medicine
International Medical Graduates (IMG's)
Not too many years ago, by far the majority of physicians were Caucasian males born and raised in the US. Today, 27% of physicians in training are international medical school graduates (IMGs). According to the AMA, IMGs make up 25% of the total physician population in the US.
The specialties that have the highest percentages of IMGs in residency programs are:
- Pathology - 44%
- Internal Medicine - 40%
- Neurology - 35%
- Psychiatry - 35%
In 2004, women accounted for 25.2% of the physician workforce, and 41% of physicians in training programs were women. This number will increase because women make up the majority of medical school applicants for the first time in the 2003-2004 school year. It is predicted that by the year 2010, approximately 40% of US physicians will be women.
The specialties with the highest percentage of women in training are:
- OB/GYN - 74%
- Dermatology - 58%
The specialties with the lowest percentage of women in training are:
- Orthopedic Surgery - 9%
- Urology - 15%
- Otolaryngology - 21%
Women are more likely to be in employed arrangements than self-employed. According to the AMS, 60% of female physicians are currently employed compared to 31% of their male counterparts. Also, female physicians on average work 25% fewer hours than male physicians.
Employer/Candidate Differing Goals
While we have shown that the face of medicine has changed in educational background and gender, there has been another less obvious change, and that is a change in attitude. Today's young physicians are just as interested in practicing good medicine as were their predecessors, but they are more interested in balancing work and free time than their predecessors were. Also, they are not as likely to spend their entire careers in the same practice.
New physicians in increasing numbers are seeking part-time or flexible hours, and this interest is not just limited to women. Recent surveys of graduating pediatric residents found 58% of the females and 15% of the males have a strong interest in part-time work. Since by far the majority of practices are seeking full-time physicians, this, too contrasts with the preferences of physician candidates.
Employers must understand the extreme change that has occurred in our culture over the past 25 years that has influenced this generation, resulting in:
- A lack of organizational loyalty
- Greater focus on leisure and personal activities
- More time required with family
- Increased occurrence of relocation for spouses' careers
- Aversion to financial risk due to high debt load
These factors not only impact which jobs new physicians will consider, but also which specialties graduating medical students will select. Students are increasingly drawn to" controllable" specialties; such as anesthesiology, dermatology and emergency medicine. According to the National Residency Matching Program, from 1997 to 2002 the numbers of new physicians pursuing residencies in anesthesiology and dermatology have increased by 288% and 39% respectively.
Physicians who are seeking new associates are not responding well to the expectation of their potential partners. Older physicians often have the attitude that they paid their dues (for example four years to partnership), so their new associates should, as well. This is creating a significant cultural clash, and is making recruiting more challenging.
The changing face of medicine will require different strategies for practices and systems which employ physicians. The shift will be complicated and those who "can't" bridge the generations may fail in their quest to have a full complement of staff for their practices....we will learn more from Tammy's article in the next installment. For now,
Happy and healthy hiring,