Pessimistic docs leaving hospitals

That's a bummer: More than half of physicians are pessimistic about the future of healthcare, with many doctors cynical about government involvement particularly around healthcare reform.

According to a survey by nonprofit The Physicians Foundation, 57 percent of doctors age 40 and younger don't have high hopes, worrying that recent legislation will hurt their practices, according to a company statement. Only 4 percent were "highly optimistic" about the Affordable Care Act.

"I do not feel optimistic because of all the increased regulatory burdens on physicians. There will be an increased shortage of physicians to provide primary care and decreased access to care," said one physician in the survey.

With that negative outlook, only 12 percent of young hospital-employed physicians would stay in their current position. When compared to office-based physicians, hospital-based physicians are more likely to stay for only two years or less and are significantly less likely to stay for 8 or more years, according to the report. If given the opportunity, more than 40 percent of young primary care physicians would opt to be sole owners or partners in a group, they said.

According to another survey conducted by Harris Interactive and HR company Randstad Healthcare, released Monday, nearly one-third (31 percent) of healthcare workers are on the job hunt, reporting that they are likely to look for a new job within the next 12 months.

When asked about their perception of the job market, about half (47 percent) of healthcare workers believe there are fewer opportunities available; 18 percent said there are more jobs available.

However, the data point to a little more optimism. Most healthcare workers (80 percent) feel their jobs are pretty secure in that they are unlikely to lose their job; 66 percent also said they think their employer is in good financial health.

"It is certainly no secret that healthcare is a bright spot in the economy," Steve McMahan, executive vice president of Randstad US, Professionals, said in a company statement. "Driven by several market dynamics, including an aging population, healthcare reform, and the increased emphasis on quality and patient satisfaction, the industry will continue to grow as healthcare providers evolve to meet the needs of an ever-changing industry."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that healthcare jobs will grow the fastest of all industries in the next decade. Hospitals will see gains, rising from 5.7 million jobs in 2010 to 6.6 million in 2020, according to a study by Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany.

For more information:
- check out the Physicians Foundation report (.pdf)
- here's the Physician Foundation press release
- read the Randstad Healthcare press release

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