Generalists Found Good Jobs More Easily Than Specialists

National Survey of Resident Physician Career Opportunities

From 1994 through 1997, the American Medical Association (AMA) conducted a series of national surveys of residency program directors and graduating residents about the career opportunities of resident physicians.

Key Results

  • The AMA accomplished the following during the grant period:

    • In 1994, surveyed 3,090 resident program directors and 3,977 graduating residents about job opportunities available to resident physicians completing training in 1994.
    • In 1996, surveyed 3,819 program directors about their 1995 graduates and 12,138 graduating residents.
    • In 1997, surveyed 7,604 physicians who had completed residency in 1995 and 3,720 program directors about their 1996 graduates.

Key Findings

  • The AMA reported the following findings to RWJF and in three articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

    • In 1994, generalist physicians were having fewer problems finding preferred positions than were specialists.
    • In 1995 and 1996, international medical graduates; those completing programs in the Pacific or East North Central region; and those in several specialties (hematology, pathology, geriatric medicine, oncology, ophthalmology and general internal medicine) were having the most difficulty finding clinical positions.
    • Graduates of the subspecialties of anesthesiology and plastic surgery, who were reported as having had the greatest difficulty finding acceptable positions in 1994, had less difficulty in 1995.