For more information, call 800-919-1703 or visit www.irs.gov/charities and click on “Medical Resident FICA Refund.”
Is the Economy Having a Negative Effect on Hospitalist Jobs?
I will start my senior year as a medical resident in a few months. I am interested in a career as a hospitalist. While I hear that there are a lot of hospitalists out there, one of my friends has been looking for a hospitalist job in the Northeast and has had some difficulty landing a position. Is the problem the area or the economy? Is there anything I can do to make myself a more attractive candidate?
Reza Mohan, MD
Dr. Hospitalist responds: Congratul-ations on reaching this stage in your training as a physician; this is the time you can start thinking about your career as a hospitalist. While I understand your desire to land a plum job upon completion of training, I want to encourage you to focus your efforts during your last year of training. Becoming the best doctor possible might be the best preparation to land the ideal HM job.
It is true that since 1996, when the term “hospitalist” was first coined, it has been easy to land HM jobs. The field exploded out of nowhere, and now boasts more than 30,000 hospitalists after little more than a decade. Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Seattle … hospitalist jobs were plentiful.
While it has been good for physicians looking for jobs, I am not sure it has been ideal for patients. I would argue that the easy availability of jobs has attracted people to our profession who probably are not ideally suited to be hospitalists. From a quality perspective, wouldn’t we be better off if there were more competition for hospitalist jobs? In fact, I am hearing talk from colleagues around the country that there are a few places where it is increasingly more difficult to land a hospitalist job. Seattle and Boston are two such places.
That said, one only has to look at the job ads in the preceding pages of The Hospitalist and the SHM Career Center (www.hospitalmedicine.org/careers) to see that HM jobs are still plentiful in most parts of the country. I would not worry about not being able to land a job as a hospitalist when you finish training. However, you might not be able to find a great job in the city of your choice.
If you are interested in networking, I encourage you to speak with HM physicians at your hospital and in your community. Don’t pass up the opportunity to attend a local SHM chapter meeting or a regional conference; both are great for connecting with hospitalists and hiring managers. Another option is to sign up with an SHM e-mail listserv, so you have the opportunity to participate in online discussions with hospitalists. TH
- IRS to honor medical resident FICA refund claims. IRS Web site. Available at www.irs.gov/charities/article/ 0,,id=219548,00.html. Published March 2, 2010. Accessed April 14, 2010.