Younger physicians are seeking work-life balance

Physician Job Seekers are Prioritizing Work-Life Balance Among Other Desired Career Goals in 2023

Younger physicians in their first jobs or early in their careers are focused on landing jobs that can offer work-life balance as well as competitive compensation and desired location, among other asks in 2023.

Most of these job-seekers will arrive at positions at hospitals, clinics, in private practice, at research institutions, or in academia. Here is a breakdown of their career goals:

  1. Physicians are looking for more work-life balance

What this means is that job seekers are prioritizing finding positions that can offer reasonable or flexible working hours, adequate time off, and flexibility to maintain personal and family commitments.

In a 2022 survey by CHG Healthcare of 145 physicians who have been out of residency for 2-3 years, work-life balance was the #1 consideration. The study illuminated these “Important Factors in First Job Selection”:

  1. Work-life balance (85%)
  2. Work schedule (83%)
  3. Location (83%)
  4. Job-Employer stability (79%)
  5. Salary (77%)
  1. Physicians continue to prioritize compensation and benefits

Always a top consideration, salary, benefits, the option to undertake professional development, and the potential for financial growth remain on job seekers’ minds. Physician pay continues to rise, now averaging $352,000/year overall, according to a Medscape physician compensation report 2023

The top earning specialties:

  1. Plastic surgery: $619,000
  2. Orthopedics: $573,000
  3. Cardiology: $507,000
  4. Urology: $506,000
  5. Gastroenterology: $501,000

The top 29 specialties’ earnings ranked

In the current “buyer’s market,” qualified physicians often have the option to decide among offers from different employers to determine which one will be most favorable.

  1. Physicians are seeking an optimal location

In searching for jobs on sites such as, job seekers are asked to enter specialty and location before drilling down to other desired criteria. Often, location is the crucial factor for job-seekers who might wish to live close to family or be in a specific city or region, while others are open to relocating for the right opportunity.

Research by CompHealth points to these top locations for physician jobs in the U.S. at this time:

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Jacksonville, Florida
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Boise, Idaho

As an example of a job search result, here’s a listing for full-time positions in cardiovascular surgery in the U.S.

Other top concerns of physicians who are looking for jobs

Patient population and specialty – These physicians may place a premium on finding a job in a particular demographic such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or with a specific disease population.

Professional growth and learning opportunities – These doctors tend to prioritize opportunities for research, teaching, conferences, and access to the latest medical advancements to enhance their skills and expertise.

Work environment and culture – Others may be considering factors such as collegiality of staff, support for professional development, and overall atmosphere of the workplace as key in their decision making.

Job stability and security – Stability and security is highly important for some physicians who have invested significant time and effort in their education and training, and so may prioritize positions offering long-term job security.

As the medical workplace continues to evolve, it appears that quality-of-life issues, as well as professional goals, are on many physicians’ minds in 2023.

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