Traditional thinking dictates that young doctors just beginning their careers wouldn’t be fussy about the jobs they take. They would take whatever they could find just to get a foot in the door. Apparently, traditional thinking no longer applies. According to a February 2020 piece published by Becker’s Hospital Review, recruiters are now discovering that young doctors are very choosy in their job searches.
What are they choosy about? It is more than just total compensation. Even though salary and benefits do play a significant role in physician employment decisions, there are other things younger doctors are equally concerned about. Three of those things are described in this post.
1. Work-Life Balance
Becker’s Hospital Review cited data that shows early-career physicians are more concerned about things older doctors were willing to let slide. At the top of the list is work-life balance. The younger generation ranks it near the top of the list of considerations, regardless of a particular profession.
Young doctors want to know exactly what kind of time commitment a prospective job will require. They want to know about things like scheduling, overtime, and time spent on call. If a potential job opportunity looks as though the time commitment is going to be too much, the attractiveness of that opportunity is diminished.
This could be one of the factors explaining why younger doctors are more willing to look at locum tenens as a full-time career. Locum tenens employment gives doctors more control over their work schedules. It gives them the opportunity to take time away for family.
2. Location, Location, Location
Location is the second of the three factors cited by the Becker’s article. Data shows that younger doctors are very interested in local amenities and other similar factors when choosing where they will work. They ask about things like schools and neighborhoods. They ask about restaurants and grocery stores.
This suggests that early-career doctors are as interested in where they live as the employer they work for. No surprise there. Given that work-life balance is so important, doctors want to know that the place where they live is amenable to the kind of work-life balance they seek to create.
3. Cultural Opportunities
Hand-in-hand with things like neighborhoods and restaurants are cultural opportunities. As much as this might surprise you, young doctors rank cultural opportunities high on their list of priorities. This also plays into the work-life balance concept.
Culture is something that was never part of a person’s job search priorities back when our parents and grandparents began working. Older generations viewed work as a necessary evil and a means of survival. Fifty years ago, you got a job after graduation. Today, you embark on a career. There is a significant difference in mindset.
Younger doctors taking the career approach look at their jobs as just one component in a much broader spectrum of life. They do not want that life to be absent of culture. As such, they look for employment opportunities in locations where they can find the cultural opportunities they desire.
All of this leads to the inevitable conclusion that some facilities now have a harder time recruiting young talent than others. Those facilities in rural locations will have a particularly hard time, because such locations do not offer as much by way of amenities and culture. However, rural locations do have an advantage in the work-life balance area.
It turns out younger doctors are very choosy about their jobs. Now that recruiters know what drives them, they can start working on ways to win the talent war.
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