Home Poll Hospital medicine: a long-term career?

Hospital medicine: a long-term career?

July 2011

Published in the July 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

EXACTLY HOW COMMITTED are most hospitalists to working in hospital medicine for the long run?

Look at data from the 2010 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, and you’ll find that 74% say that they plan to remain in hospital medicine for five to 10 years. But other data show that not all hospitalists are planning to work as a clinician, at least in the hospital. Here are some survey details.

A look at the long term
In broad terms, just over one-third of hospitalists (35.6%) plan to practice as a hospitalist until they retire. Another third see themselves in an administrative role, and just over one-quarter plan to practice as a primary care physician.

About 10% plan to move on to a fellowship, and just over 5% plan to take a job in another specialty.

By specialty, the numbers change just slightly. Just under half of pediatric hospitalists (43%) plan to retire from their jobs as hospitalists, and just under one-third plan to work in general pediatrics.

Career plans and patient volumes
Sort data on career plans by patient loads, and one trend becomes clear: The more patients hospitalists see, the less likely they are to plan to retire while working as a hospitalist.

More instead say they intend to practice as a primary care physician, work in an administrative role or take a job in industry. Hospitalists with the highest patient volumes are more likely to say they plan to take on an administrative role in health care or work as a primary care physician.

Career plans and physician experience
Not surprisingly, the longer physicians have worked as hospitalists, the greater the chances they plan to stick with the specialty until they retire. Veteran hospitalists are also the least likely to say they plan to work as a primary care physician at some point in the future.

Want more data about hospitalist pay, work hours and more? Go to the 2010 survey results online at www.todayshospitalist.com and look for the "Survey Results" button on the left side of the page.