The Job Market in Emergency Medicine: Perspectives of Graduating Residents in 2023

The emergency medicine workforce is an important issue with ramifications for physicians relocating or retiring, medical students considering the specialty, and graduating residents seeking their first jobs.  In August 2021, an article published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine projected a surplus of more than 7,800 emergency physicians in 2030 based on multiple scenarios, including patterns of supply and demand for emergency physicians at that time.1 The workforce in emergency medicine is constantly in flux, and dependent on numerous factors. It is important to monitor key issues, including annual emergency department (ED) visits, geographic distribution of physicians, and the equilibrium between new entrants and retirees in the workforce. This report provides information on the 2023 job search for the most recent residency graduates.

Survey Results

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) provides an opportunity for residents to express their experience and insights annually through an optional anonymous survey distributed at the same time as the annual in-training examination. This report is from the most recent survey administered in February 2023.

9,202 emergency medicine residents from 275 emergency medicine residency programs participated. Residents from combined programs were not included.  The survey sampled 2,711 residents in the final year of their training. 

The majority of respondents (84.4 percent) had been offered positions in emergency medicine. Most respondents (72.7 percent) reported no difficulty in finding positions. Graduating residents varied significantly in the number of jobs they applied to with the highest percentage of respondents (42.7 percent) noted that they had applied for between one to three positions (range: one to ten). 295 respondents answered “N/A” which approximates to the 295 individuals matching into Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited emergency medicine fellowships.2

Respondents were spread across the full range of educational debt, ranging from none to greater than $400,000, and with 62.6 percent of respondents reporting debt burdens of $200,000 or above.

Table 1.  Have you been offered employment as an emergency physician for this coming year (2023)?* 

Choice Frequency Percent of Respondents (2,227)
Yes, and I have accepted an offer/started the position 1,743 78.3
Yes, but I am still searching 136 6.1
No, I have not yet been offered a job 62 2.8
N/A 286 12.8
No response 484
 TOTAL 2,711 100.0

* The response rate of senior residents was 82 percent.

Table 2. How many jobs did you apply for during the previous academic year (2022-2023)(excluding residencies/fellowships and other training positions)?*