How Nice it is to be Wanted

In a down economy, with family practice residency graduation looming, I am a hotter commodity than gold right now. Recruiters compete for my attention with emails, phone calls, and fancy dinners. They’ve met my husband (who fortunately was willing to be my front line in this sudden assault of suitors) and they know my likes and dislikes.

According to a survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians, “Primary care physicians have become a particular focus of recruiting efforts for several reasons”. In particular, the shortage of medical students willing to go into primary care is a factor. As a result, many family medicine residency programs are having difficulty filling their available residency slots. “This contraction in supply coincides with the renewed focus that hospitals and medical groups are putting on primary care after several years of neglect in the early part of this decade,” the survey notes.

The Merritt Hawkins survey also states that this is the fifth consecutive year family medicine has topped Merritt Hawkins’ list for recruitment searches. FP position requests were almost double that of internal medicine, eight times that of pediatrics, and are up 42% from 2009-10.  If only the statistics were that good with dating!

When I chose family medicine, I had no idea I signed up for such a wanted profession.  Many of my friends have searched long and hard, and some of them still don’t have jobs at all. Others are working significantly below their training level and are being paid accordingly.  How lucky I am as an FP resident to have my choice of location, call schedule, clinic style, and patient population, not to mention salary/benefits package when job hunting.

Fortunately for me, I love what I do, and life is even better when you are loved back.

Author: Charlene Hauser, MD, MPH

Dr. Hauser is an active advocate for her patients at the community, state, and national levels, implementing policy changes that makes our world a healthier place to live, work, and play.

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