Residents are drowning in job offers – and debt


There may be such a thing as too much choice. Just ask a final-year resident.

Physician search firm Merritt Hawkins did – actually, they heard from 391 residents – and 64% said that they had been contacted too many times by recruiters.

“Physicians coming out of training are being recruited like blue-chip athletes,” Travis Singleton, executive vice president of Merritt Hawkins, said in a statement. “There are simply not enough new doctors to go around.”

Merritt Hawkins asked physicians in their final year of residency about career choices, practice plans, and finances. Most said that they would prefer to be employed by a hospital or group practice, and a majority want to practice in a community with a population of 250,000 or more. More than half of the residents owed over $150,000 in student loans, but there were considerable debt differences between U.S. and international medical graduates.

The specialty distribution of respondents was 50% primary care, 30% internal medicine subspecialty/other, 15% surgical, and 5% diagnostic. About three-quarters were U.S. graduates and one-quarter of the residents were international medical graduates in this latest survey in a series that has been conducted periodically since 1991.

The survey was conducted in April 2018.

Resident's reality infographic

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