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Which Specialists Would Choose Medicine Again if Given the Chance?

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In exploring whether physicians would choose medicine again, the 2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report broke its findings down according to specialty.

As Carol Peckham reports over at the publication’s website, radiologists, orthopedists, and plastic surgeons were least likely to choose medicine again (49 percent, 50 percent, and 51 percent, respectively), while family physicains, rheumatologists, and internists were most likely (73 percent, 72 percent, and 71 percent, respectively).

Fifty-five percent of dermatologists, gastroenterologists, and general surgeons would choose medicine again. They were followed by 57 percent of allergists, immunologists, and anesthesiologists, with 59 percent of pathologists also agreeing with their original career choice.

Sixty percent of neurologists and ophthalmologists are happy with being in medicine, followed by 61 percent of cardiologists and urologists, 63 percent of endocrinologists, and 65 percent of psychiatrists, mental-health specialists, and infectious-disease specialists.

Sixty-six percent of nephrologists would pursue medicine again, followed by 67 percent of pediatricians, OB/GYNs, women’s health specialists, and oncologists. Sixty-eight percent of emergency-medicine specialists and 69 percent of pulmonologists replied in the affirmative, followed by 70 percent of critical-care specialists.

“In the 2014 Medscape survey, internists and family physicians were also within the top three spots,” Peckham writes, “but fewer reported that they would choose medicine again (68 percent and 67 percent) than they did this year.”

With regards to the lowest-ranking specialties on the surveys, those most likely to reconsider their careers (radiologists, orthopedists, and plastic surgeons): “Compensation levels do not appear to play a significant role in whether physicians would choose this profession again,” she writes.

It should be noted that family physicians and internists comprised the largest group of respondents to the overall Medscape survey (12 percent), while allergists and immunologists, critical-care specialists, dermatologists, endocrinologists, infectious-disease specialists, nephrologists, and plastic surgeons were among the specialties with the lowest number of respondents. The elusive category of “Other” comprised 9 percent of the “19,657 physicians across 26 specialties” who “met the screening criteria.” The margin of error was plus or minus 0.69 percent.

As physicians who are looking for jobs, if you had to do choose again, would you go with medicine? Why or why not? For the radiologists, orthopedists, and plastic surgeons who are among us, why do you think your specialties are at the lowest end of the scale, comprising those specialists most interested in choosing another profession if given a chance?

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