Home Career A look at hospitalists’ career plans

A look at hospitalists’ career plans

August 2015
Career plans
Health Care Challenge

Published in the August 2015 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

HOW SUCCESSFUL HAVE HOSPITALIST LEADERS been in making their groups and the specialty appealing to physicians over the long haul? Here’s a look at data from the 2014 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey on career plans for full-time hospitalists who treat adults.

Plans for current job
Hospitalists plan to stay in their current job for a mean of 8.2 more years. Because respondents say they’ve been in their current job an average of 4.6 years, most plan to stay a total of under 13 years.

Physicians in local hospitalist groups plan to stick around the longest (12 more years), while hospitalists at universities/medical schools plan to remain only 5.3 more years. Respondents who said burnout is personally significant plan to stay only 6.1 more years, while those who say burnout is only slightly significant or insignificant plan to remain 10.3 years.

Hospitalists don’t seem to be leaving groups because they’re working too many shifts. Hospitalists with 16 to 20 shifts per month, for example, plan to continue 10.0 more years, while hospitalists working 10 to 15 shifts plan to stay only 7.1 more years.

But patient encounters per shift seem to make a difference. Hospitalists with 10 patient encounters or less per shift plan to stay in their current job 11.2 more years, a number that goes down as encounters per shift goes up.

There are also regional differences. Hospitalists in the Pacific region, for example, plan to stay in their current jobs the longest (10 more years), while hospitalists in the Southwest intend to stick around only 5.5 years.

Years in the specialty
On average, hospitalists plan to stay in the specialty for just over 12 more years. (They report a mean of 6.5 years in the specialty already.) Hospitalists working for local hospitalist groups intend to remain longer (14.2 years) than colleagues working for other groups.

More onerous forms of night coverage may affect long-term plans. Hospitalists covering nights through beeper call, for example, plan to remain in hospital medicine only 8.6 more years, while hospitalists working only occasional nights plan to continue 12.9 more years.

Future plans
What do hospitalists plan to do post-hospital medicine? The largest group (37%) plan to take an administrative position, fol- lowed by those who plan to retire (33%). The next largest group (15.6%) plan to work in primary care, while 12.2% say they’ll leave medicine altogether.