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What are the chances of not getting a job after completing a 4 year university and then medical school?

I'm scared that after all this hard work, money, and time that I am willing to put into my education may not pay off. Does this happen a lot? #doctor #medicine #biology #pre-med

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James’s Answer

hi dominique,

i graduated med school in 1993 and have been a family physician for 20 years.

first, it's important that you understand that very few doctors end their training after graduating from medical school. the next step is residency, where you get your training in one of the many medical fields.

residency training is a minimum of 3 years. after that you take a test to get board-certified in your field.
if you don't complete a residency your options are limited.

if you do at least one year of residency then you can practice as a General Practitioner. but it may be difficult to get hospital privileges or be accepted on any insurance plans.

if you do complete a residency and get board certified then your choices are vast. you might become an independent practitioner or you can seek to be employed by a group or a hospital.

whether you get to practice where you want is to a large part a function of supply and demand. but generally board-certified doctors are in demand in most locations.

your previous respondent brings up some good points about the changing nature of health care and the ascendance of mid-level providers. that's all true. and it might be a route worth researching.

but if you truly want to be a physician and you're willing to put in the years of education and training then don't be dissuaded by an idea that you wouldn't be able to find employment.

good luck!

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Rachel’s Answer

There is a chance that after medical school you will not match into your desired residency. In this position, you would enter something called the scramble. You would contact all of the programs that have open positions (in a variety of different specialties), and then they would interview you over the phone. Almost everybody ends up with a job somewhere. It may not have been their first choice, but it is a job.

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JD’s Answer

The medical field is undergoing considerable transition and quite frankly, I feel it is not going to be for the better. Government legislation and policy regulations along with restrictions imposed on medical practice by private healthcare systems and third party payers, have crippled the autonomy of the medical profession. Simply stated, this means that as a physician you will have less control over your medical practice as to where and how you provide medical care and to what extent you will be reimbursed for your services. Your concerns regarding your commitment in time and treasure to pursuing a medical degree are justified. Serious thought has to be given as to your realistic motivations, commitment, and resources in seeking a medical career. Currently, what is trending in the medical care career space is an emphasis on mid-level health care providers, nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA). NP is usually a 2 year, masters level, post nursing school involving training in a variety of medical specialties. PA involves 2 years of masters level post graduate medical training with certification. Both are options to obtaining a medical degree. Both can be obtained in less time and at a lesser cost. Future government legislation and regulations on health care will drive the progression of these mid-level healthcare provider careers.

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Richard’s Answer

There will always be plenty of jobs for physicians especially if you are not picky about your location. It might be harder to find a desirable job in a big city but smaller cities and towns throughout the US are often underserved.