"If you had to do it over, would you pick the same specialty?"
This is the question answered earlier this month by nearly 3,000 physicians via Sermo, an online community exclusively for physicians. During the process of becoming a physician, future doctors must make numerous tough decisions: where to attend medical school... what type of medical school to attend, (allopathic vs. osteopathic?)... international medical school or American medical school?
In addition to all of these decisions, doctors must also figure out which medical specialty they want to practice. Compensation and lifestyle vary greatly among the different types of doctors, due to reimbursements and on-call schedules of various medical specialties.
The study found that the most satisfied physicians are:
And the least happy with their choice of specialty are:
This does not bode well for the field of primary care, which is experiencing a current surge in demand.
How do young doctors decide their path for medical specialty? "Overall, the vetting process during the training years seems to work well for most [future doctors]," states a representative from Sermo in a press release. "A large majority [of physicians surveyed], 74 percent, would choose their specialty over again. That suggest that physician candidates are receiving good information and being steered properly by mentors."
The release continues "some young physicians admit to choosing a path other than their preferred specialty because of financial concerns with longer training periods. Since the average physician enters the workforce with just over $300,000 in debt, [future doctors] have a right to be concerned. Others shy away from less lucrative salaries for specialties known for making more money."
Salary ranges among physicians can vary by specialty from $150,000 to over $450,000 per year, a significant difference, especially when factored over an average career of 36 years of medical practice.
There is good news, and bad news in today's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The good news is: the healthcare industry added 9,500 jobs in February. The bad news is: healthcare only added 9,500 jobs in February, after two consecutive months of net job losses.
Furthermore, in the past three months, hospitals have shed 10,000 jobs, including 1,200 lost in February.
Ambulatory care is faring a little better, with a net gain of about 8,400 jobs in February, 8,200 of which were in physician offices, and 1,500 were in outpatient care centers.
Even home health care, one of the more rapidly growing sectors of healthcare, lost 3,800 jobs in February.
Clearly, such minimal growth is not enough to compensate for the historic healthcare job losses the previous two months. Even so, the unemployment rate for the healthcare industry is at just 4.0 percent, down from 5.3 percent this time last year. (The nation's overall unemployment rate edged up a bit to 6.7 percent in February.)
Perhaps the tiny bit of healthcare job growth in February is a sign of a little bit of momentum in healthcare hiring? Despite the recent job losses, the healthcare industry still remains one of the largest employment sectors, if not the largest, in the country.
- 9 Common Health Career Questions (and Answers)
- 6 Emerging, Evolving, and/or Growing Health Careers
- Health Careers in Greatest Demand
- Highest Paying Health Careers
Every February is Therapeutic Recreation Month, according to the National Council of Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), a non-profit organization representing over 12,000 certified therapeutic recreation specialists practicing in a variety of settings including healthcare and human services.
According to the NCTRC, recreational therapy is valuable because it provides the following benefits:
- Improves quality of life
- Increases independence
- Focuses on health promotion
- Promotes valued health care outcomes
Recreational therapists lead a variety of group or individual activities such as swimming, exercising, dancing, singing, etc. to improve the physical, emotional, and social well-being of their clients, students, and/or patients. Therapeutic recreation benefits people of all ages in a variety of settings including hospitals, government programs, residential care facilities, schools, and more. If this career sounds interesting to you, learn more about how to become a recreational therapist and what the job entails and pays, in a new career overview of recreational therapy.
One thing they don't teach you in nursing school is how to protect your nursing license from possible suspension or revocation. A nursing career takes years to obtain and build, but can be lost in a matter of minutes. Many nurses think that a license dispute or board action could never happen to them. As a nurse, you may think that a license dispute is something that only happens to other people.
However, one nurse-turned-legal-expert warns that every nurse is vulnerable to a potential license issue or dispute. Thousands of licenses are suspended or revoked each year in the U.S. A split-second lapse of judgment, a simple mistake, or a even a basic miscommunication with a patient or other health professional can result in an infraction or perceived infraction, and subsequent disciplinary action.
Lorie Brown, a former R.N., has represented hundreds of nurses fighting license suspension or revocation. She outlines several cases and provides advice and tips for nurses in her book "Law and Order for Nurses." Now a lawyer specializing in nursing license disputes, Brown provided several tips for a new article to help nurses and About Health Careers readers prevent license issues to keep their licenses in good standing.
If you want to know how to make someone's heart beat for you, literally, then a career in cardiac perfusion could be an ideal profession. What better way to pump up your career than to learn how to operate the heart-lung machine during heart surgery?
The heart-lung machine, or "pump", basically does the work of the patient's heart during the surgery which is sometimes stopped during heart surgery. The perfusionist is trained to operate and maintain the pump during the surgery so that the patient's blood continues to be oxegenated and cleaned while the patient's heart is stopped.
If that doesn't make your heart skip a beat with excitement over this career, consider this: the average salary for perfusionists is about $110,000 per year, (according to Monster.com's Salary Wizard) and only a bachelor's degree is required to get into a training program.
- Cardiac Perfusionist - Career Profile
- Careers in Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cardiology Professional Associations
Are you interested in becoming a chiropractor? Many people think that chiropractors only fix back pain, and while that is a treatment they often provide, chiropractors are trained to treat a variety of issues through chiropractic methods.
Chiropractors are "Doctors of Chiropractic" (D.C.), after obtaining a doctorate degree in a chiropractic program, (not an M.D. or D.O. degree as a physician does.) Although chiropractors don't go to medical school, they attend chiropractic school after a minimum of about two years of undergraduate coursework. However, many chiropractors do complete a bachelor's degree prior to entering chiropractic school.
Learn more about how to become a chiropractor and what to expect in your career as a chiropractor in the new chiropractor career overview.
Cardiology Jobs Available at a Variety of Education, Compensation Levels
Each year, February is designated as National Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease, which is the number one killer in America.
According to the CDC, every 25 seconds, someone has a coronary event, and one person dies from one per minute. Each year in the U.S., about 600,000 people die of heart disease, and about 935,000 suffer a heart attack.
Professionals who work in the field of cardiology have the important job of keeping hearts healthy, repairing damaged hearts, and helping to prevent, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular problems and diseases in millions of patients.
If you are passionate about heart health, you may want to explore one of the many exciting careers in cardiology:
For the second consecutive month, the healthcare industry is experiencing an historical decline in job growth, according to today's employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While the net loss of 400 jobs may not seem catastrophic, the timing and circumstances of the job cuts are concerning. With the ACA in full effect as of January 2014, healthcare job losses seem counterproductive to meeting the increased demand for healthcare services in a post-reform healthcare environment.
Until December, a month of net job losses in healthcare had not happened in ten years, yet January of 2014 is the second consecutive month of dismal growth in an industry which grew at a substantial pace even through the worst of the Great Recession. Additionally, healthcare added an average of 17,000 jobs per month throughout 2013.
In January of this year, the most job cuts occurred in hospitals (-4,500 jobs) and nursing and residential care facilities (-4,900 jobs). Fortunately, ambulatory care gained 9,000 jobs to help offset the losses in hospital jobs.
However, the January report does not clearly state where the 9,000 ambulatory jobs were added. The preliminary BLS report for January 2014 shows the following ambulatory care jobs were added:
Combined, those three sub-categories show a total of 1,700 new ambulatory care jobs, which is much fewer than the 9,000 ambulatory care jobs quoted in the report. Upon contacting a BLS media representative, he stated that the 7,300 additional ambulatory care jobs were most likely added in unpublished employment categories, which include offices of dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, and therapists.
Additionally, the BLS adjusted the December 2013 numbers from a loss of 6,000 healthcare jobs to a gain of 2,400 jobs.
Despite the recent slow-down in healthcare job growth, the unemployment rate as of January was 4.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent this time last year, and considerably lower than the current national unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.
- Medical Jobs in Greatest Demand
- 6 Emerging, Growing, or Evolving Health Careers for 2014
- 9 Common Health Career Questions & Answers
New Online Resource Helps Physicians Prepare, Increase Test Scores
Over half of what a physician learns during his or her training will be out of date within twenty years. Board certification exams are one way that medical boards ensure that physicians are up to date in their respective medical specialty, in conjunction with CME and other licensing requirements that help to ensure the viability, knowledge, skills, and competence of physicians in practice.
Most employers and hospitals now require board certification for employment and hospital privileges. Therefore, passing board certification exams is paramount for physicians, whereas in the past, board certification was optional for most providers.
Furthermore, pass rates for board certification exams have declined from over 90 percent in 2008, to around 84 percent today. One expert, Daniel Lambert, CEO of BoardVitals.com, attributes the drop in scores to poor study and preparation skills in younger physicians.
BoardVitals.com has recently launched an online program to assist physicians in studying and preparing for these critical exams to obtain board certification in their medical specialty. The site offers practice testing with a database of peer-reviewed questions that can be answered any time, from any computing device.
Mr. Lambert recently provided About.com readers with four great board exam tips to help prepare for board certification exams, and some additional information about how the BoardVitals program could help physicians increase their test scores and pass rate.
Also known as "rad techs", radiologic technologists are the healthcare workers who operate various imaging machines and help patients get into position and properly prepared for the image to be produced. After the image is scanned or captured, the image is then evaluated by a radiologist who may consult with the physician who ordered the test to determine the patient's diagnosis and treatment plan.
X-ray, MRI, CT and mammography are the various imaging machines that rad techs may be trained to use. Education and training programs for rad techs include certificate programs, associate's degree programs, and bachelor's degree programs.