Millennial Doctors CompHealth Survey Results


Findings from national healthcare staffing provider point to substantial student debt and work/life balance as other leading concerns

CompHealth, a national leader in healthcare staffing, revealed results from a survey administered to nearly 600 young physicians. The responses provide insights into how millennial physicians find their first positions, what they want in a job and why they change jobs.

CompHealth’s survey found that nearly all millennial physicians (93 percent) own and use a smartphone. However, physicians rarely use social media tools when looking for work, with only one percent finding employment through social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Doximity, etc.). Forty percent of placements were the result of referrals and networking.

"It was surprising to learn that virtually no young physicians were finding work through social media. Instead, many were finding jobs through old-fashioned personal connections," says Lisa Grabl, president of CompHealth. "This study helps us better understand the motivations and interests of young doctors at the beginning of their careers, and how hospitals and clinics can build programs to attract and retain these talented young physicians."

Physician job satisfaction is high

Once early career physicians find permanent jobs, satisfaction and retention remain fairly high. Four out of fivephysicians who finished their residencies and fellowships in 2014, 2015, or 2016 and who signed permanent contracts are still at their first positions. Among those respondents, most of them (65%) are satisfied with their current job. Of those who leave their first position, 84 percent are satisfied with their second job.

At this point in their careers, young physicians are generally concerned about finding jobs with a good work/life balance, location, and income. Men regard these three factors about equally, while women view work/life balance and location as primary concerns, and income as secondary.

Physicians are still looking for new jobs

While new physicians are largely satisfied in their first positions, they don’t necessarily plan on working in that job forever. Only 37 percent plan to stay in their first position beyond the end of their contract, 26 percent plan to move on to something new, and 37 percent are still undecided about what they want to do.

The primary reasons physicians give for leaving positions are compensation (59%), work/life balance (51%), and bad management (45%). For men, compensation is the largest reason for leaving (69%), while only 52 percent of women would leave due to compensation. Women are more likely to leave because of poor work/life balance (56%).

The focus on compensation is not surprising given the amount of student debt physicians incur. While 26 percent of respondents indicated they had no debt, the remaining 74 percent have substantial debt — 19 percent owe between $100,000 and $199,999 and 44 percent owe more than $200,000.

Physicians have financial concerns

Student loan debt is not the only financial concern for new physicians. Seventy-six percent have already begun saving for retirement with 60 percent planning to retire by the age of 65.

Finding a new job also brings its own stress. The biggest concern about the search is finding the right job fit (60%), followed by negotiating contract terms (58%), and negotiating compensation (56%).

Physicians and locum tenens

Some recent grads are turning to locum tenens at the start of their career. Fourteen percent of respondents indicated they had worked locum tenens in the past. The primary reason for trying locums was the compensation (38%), followed by using it as a gap filler while searching for a permanent position.

Seventy-two percent of physicians who had worked locum tenens had positive impressions of their experiences. Forty-three percent of those who had not worked locums said they are interested in working locum tenens in the future.

To learn more, access the full report at

About CompHealth
CompHealth is a national leader in healthcare staffing, serving providers in more than 100 specialties. CompHealth was founded in 1979 and is now the largest locum tenens staffing agency in the U.S. The company also specializes in permanent physician placement and both temporary and permanent allied healthcare staffing. CompHealth is part of the CHG Healthcare family of companies, which has been ranked on Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the past nine years. For more information, visit