Primary care physicians would rather choose a different field, survey says

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A recent survey published in Physicians Practice indicates that almost two-thirds of primary care physicians would select another field if they could choose their careers over again, and more than 50 percent consider themselves "second class citizens" compared to surgical and diagnostic specialists.

Only about 40 percent of the physicians surveyed said that they would stay in primary care if they could repeat their medical educations, while about 39 percent said they would prefer to become surgical or diagnostic specialists, and about 22 percent said they would not choose a medical career at all.

Yet, primary care physicians remain busy and in demand: over 80 percent of primary care physicians surveyed indicated that they have busy practices, and over 57 percent said they are contacted about job opportunities about 50 times per year by recruiters.

However, about 60 percent of those surveyed felt that the income from their practice is disappointing. About 50 percent of primary care physicians indicated they earn $150,000 or less a year, while cardiologists, radiologists and other medical specialists commonly earn $300,000 or more. As a result, fewer than 15 percent consider themselves equal partners with surgical and diagnostic specialists.
Consulting firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates conducted the survey.