DALLAS, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- More than one-third (36 percent) of physicians would be "very likely" to consider government practice in the event of a career change, according to a recent survey by The Medicus Firm, a national physician recruiting consultancy. Among those physicians who are open to government practice, VA employment topped the list of government jobs.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the December 2014 survey said they would "definitely not" consider government employment, and the remaining third were neutral or unsure.
When presented options of various government practice settings, respondents most frequently selected VA jobs (61.8%) as an option over military jobs (33.1%), corrections (16%), and "other" government jobs.
"This latest survey reveals that, while it may not be the favorite practice setting for most, there are physicians who do realize the benefits of government practice enough to consider it as a viable option for employment," states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm. "As profitable private practice becomes more challenging, many doctors are attracted to the stability, benefits, sense of civic duty and public service that working for the government provides."
Physicians who graduated from U.S. medical schools responded less favorably towards government employed practice than those who obtained a medical degree abroad. Furthermore, physicians who currently work in a government setting showed less interest in government jobs than physicians currently employed in the private sector.
Nearly a third of the survey's total 429 participants submitted additional comments and notes when given the opportunity.
Comments submitted by respondents, including some current and former government employees, ranged from glowing praise to harsh criticism of government practice. "The range of opinions is likely attributable to the variety of settings and locations and facilities in the government system," states Stone. About 46.5% of commenters submitted negative feedback about government employment, 17.8% gave positive reviews, and 35% provided neutral feedback, or included both positive and negative comments in their notes.
One issue that emerged as a theme within the voluntary comments was the challenge of applying for government jobs. About 28 percent of commenters referenced problems applying or getting feedback in the hiring process. Numerous respondents cited long processing times of six months or more, which was too long to wait for employment, they felt. Many said they eventually gave up and accepted other jobs in the private sector.
"Essentially, as physicians today, we all work for the government," wrote one survey respondent, pointing to increased government regulation of many aspects of healthcare, including insurance coverage, compensation, patient records, and more. Another primary care physician lamented that working for the government "could not possibly be any worse" than his current position as an employee of a community hospital, citing lack of respect, unrealistic expectations from administrators who are not clinicians nor trained in medicine, and other pitfalls of practicing medicine as an employed physician.
Stone concludes that "unfortunately, many physicians view any type of employment as a 'necessary evil' of today's healthcare environment, as the industry has grown decreasingly conducive for private practice, with overhead costs skyrocketing, and reimbursements declining. Many tell us that, in a perfect world, they'd rather own their own practice, yet they find today's healthcare market and economy prohibitive, especially if they want to have any semblance of work-life balance."
About The Medicus Firm: The Medicus Firm is an award-winning national physician recruiting firm located in Dallas and Atlanta since 2001. For more information visit www.TheMedicusFirm.com or email Andrea Santiago, asantiago@TheMedicusFirm.com
SOURCE The Medicus Firm