Medical residents happy with work, but will the honeymoon last?

The nation's next generation of physicians--current residents--are remarkably satisfied in terms of compensation, work-life balance and career choices, according to Medscape's 2015 Residents Salary & Debt Report.

"The next generation of caregivers will be entering the medical field in perhaps its period of greatest change, and the Medscape Residents Salary and Debt Report provides an enlightening look at attitudes, motivations and hopes of these professionals," Leslie Kane, director of Medscape Business of Medicine, said in an announcement. "This year's study uncovered a largely optimistic view among residents who consider their jobs rewarding, compensation fair, relationships with senior staff members good, and the amount of hours and tedious work manageable--but also underscored the impact of debt on career choices."

With these caveats in mind, it remains to be seen whether residents' happiness will carry over into their careers as practicing physicians, noted an accompanying article in Medscape. While the majority of residents (62 percent) are satisfied with an average salary of $55,400, for example, a previous Medscape survey revealed fewer than half (47 percent) of primary care physicians feel fairly compensated, while 50 percent of specialists feel fairly compensated.

And while 68 percent of respondents reported carrying medical-school debt of $50,000 or more, it's of little surprise that 74 percent said that potential earnings were somewhat to extremely influential in determining their specialty choice. Thus, 56 percent of primary care residents said they planned to switch specialties, according to the report.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- see the slideshow
- check out the article