“Very tough year for jobs! Seems like no one was hiring. Often referenced the outcome of the presidential election and health care reform as a reason not to hire. Thankful to have a job.”
“Midwest market wide open and great jobs. Southeast jobs there, but paying less – mostly supervision – lots of call and need for fellowship for job protection vs. CRNAs.”
“Stressful process. Tougher than expected but ended up getting job I wanted.”
“Good that I have a job, but frustrating.”
– Comments from ASA 2013 Graduating Resident Survey
The ASA Committee on Practice Management has completed the second annual survey of graduating anesthesiology residents with the goal of collecting data to better identify current market trends in the anesthesiology job market.
In June 2013, an electronic survey* was sent to graduating anesthesiology residents nationwide. At the time of the survey, the ASA Member Services Department had 1,495 CA-3 residents listed as members, with 1,373 CA-3 residents having corresponding email addresses. Participation was voluntary, and all responses were anonymous, as resident email addresses were never directly accessed. The survey consisted of 31 questions. Responses were collected from June-August 2013.
A total of 130 residents (9.5 percent response rate) completed the survey, with approximately two-thirds of responders identifying themselves as male. The responders were asked to identify the location of their residency training (Figure 1).
Table 1 summarizes the results of the survey. When applying, most residents applied to four to nine practices and received job offers from only one to three groups. Nationwide, only 23 percent of residents were applying to academic anesthesi-ology practices, with the highest regional concentration of academic anesthesiology applicants completing residencies in the Northeast and Pacific states.
*Approved by the institutional review board at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
At the time of the study, almost all the respondents had received job offers, with 97 percent having confirmed jobs. All residents in all regions reported having >85 percent confirmed jobs; however, those responding from the Midwest region only had 87 percent confirmed jobs. Less than half (38 percent) of residents were joining anesthesiology groups with plans to become a partner, while a majority (62 percent) has accepted group employee positions. The starting salary showed a mean of $252,986 with some regional differences. Residents were also asked to rank factors most important in choosing a job. These factors were call requirements, stability of the hospital system, stability of the group, schedule flexibility, vacation/ability to take time off, monetary compensation, job description and geography.
Regarding fellowships, 34 percent of responders reported they would be entering a fellowship after graduating from residency. Responders were asked to cite reasons for choosing a fellowship, and 53 percent of responders stated they were “Interested in that subject and wanted to learn more/develop skills”; however, 45 percent cited they “Thought it [fellowship] would make you a more competitive/desirable candidate when looking for a job” as a reason for choosing a fellowship (Figure 3).
Limitations of the study included sampling and population size. Since the study was sent through ASA, it hopefully reflects a majority of CA-3 anesthesiology residents; however, approximately 8 percent of CA-3 residents did not have an email on file with ASA. Additionally, if a resident is not an ASA member, this survey would not have reached them. However, according to Schubert in the most recent (2009) assessment of anesthesiology resident class sizes, an average of 1,536 residents have graduated per year from anesthesiology residencies nationwide over the last five years.1
Overall, this study demonstrated some interesting trends in the 2013 anesthesiology job market as compared to the previous year’s pilot survey. We hope this article will create awareness of the survey, generating an increased response rate in 2014 when the survey lands in the inboxes of graduating residents. For residents completing the 2014 survey, the Committee on Practice Management will be giving away three free registrations for PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2015 to be held in Atlanta.
The results of this survey are particularly interesting as they show a majority of residents will be entering private practice and that the prevalence of becoming a “group employee” is more common, with more than 60 percent of responders indicating they would be joining this type of practice. This is in contrast to the 2012 survey, which reported 56 percent of responders joining anesthesiology groups with plans to become a partner, and only 44 percent accepting group employee positions (Figure 2). Additionally, the survey found that 77 percent of residents will be entering private practice and 23 percent entering academic anesthesiology, representing a 30 percent increase in residents pursuing a career in academic anesthesiology compared to the 2012 pilot survey.2 Another difference is the decline in expected salary, from $285,000 in the pilot survey compared with $252,986 as the expected salary listed for anesthesiology graduates entering the job market in 2013. Also, the 2013 survey results reflect a change in responder preference when evaluating a potential practice, as the stability of the hospital system/group and geography were cited as the most important factors to the 2013 CA-3 residents as compared to call requirements and schedule flexibility being cited as most important in the 2012 survey.
By surveying anesthesiology graduates, data obtained can be used to either support or refute claims about the job market. Through repeating this survey annually, we can identify market trends and patterns. This information is important for residents as it creates a need to become familiar with practice management education, particularly when greater than 75 percent of graduates are entering private practice anesthesiology. Information gathered in the survey will also be vital to prospective employers as demographic data and factors important in choosing a job are better identified.
Erica J. Stein, M.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, Columbus.
James (Jay) R. Mesrobian, M.D. is a staff anesthesiologist with Aurora Medical Group, Milwaukee.
Amr E. Abouleish, M.D., M.B.A. is Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
1. Schubert A. 2009 Anesthesiology resident class size and graduates. ASA Newsl. 2010;74(2):34-38.
2. Stein EJ, Mesrobian JR, Abouleish AE. How was the job market for graduating residents in 2012? ASA Newsl. 2012;76(12):44-46.
Attention Graduating CA3 Residents:
Complete the 2014 Anesthesiology Job Market Survey and enter for a chance to win a free conference registration to PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2015! Three winners will be drawn!