Home From The Editor How soon is too soon to leave a new job?

How soon is too soon to leave a new job?

October 2011

Published in the October 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

For years, hospitalists have taken full advantage of their seemingly endless opportunities to job-hop. Stories abound of young physicians taking a job as a hospitalist, only to quit a year later (or less).

Sometimes hospitalists leave their jobs to start a fellowship. In other instances, hospitalists need to relocate because a spouse has finished specialty training or accepted a new job.

But according to the complaints I hear from program directors, an awful lot of hospitalists seem to leave their jobs after only a year or two for other reasons.

This year’s Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career survey, for instance, found that almost 27% of hospitalists planned to stay in their current job for only two years. Only 8% said they planned to leave the specialty during that same time frame, which indicates that most are planning to switch jobs.

Job-hopping is not entirely unique to hospital medicine. For years, the rule of thumb has been that about half of new physicians will leave their first job in two years. But according to this month’s cover story, that figure approaches 70% for hospitalists.

Clearly, not every job is going to be a perfect fit. That’s particularly true for physicians in their first job out of residency, who often overlook critical issues in contracts. (See our story for tips on avoiding those pitfalls.)

But as our cover story points out, some hospitalists worry that the job-switching that’s so pervasive among hospitalists is hurting the specialty. If individual hospitalists find that job-hopping begins to hurt their career prospects, as some predict, the issue could begin to get the attention that leaders in the field say it deserves.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher