New Physician Perspective

September 1, 2014

UH Physician Update - Fall 2015 - View Full PDF

Jay Shah, MD

Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology
University Hospitals

Over the past three years, University Hospitals has welcomed an excellent and talented group of more than 100 new physicians. The transition from residency/fellowship can be challenging, and there are stressors that are often overlooked. In order to understand the perspective of the newest physicians within UHPS, I sent the following questions: 

1) What brought you to University Hospitals? 

2) What has been the biggest (and unexpected) struggle you have had to face as a new physician? 

Roughly 20 percent of physicians responded, representing a range of pediatric and adult medical and surgical subspecialties. Responses to the first question indicated that physicians were drawn to UH for many reasons. The two most common were 1) ties to Cleveland and 2) the excellent reputation of our institution. Additional reasons included feeling that UH was committed to teaching and patient-centered care, the diverse patient population, tertiary care opportunities and location. Physicians who trained here, including me, felt it was a good fit to start their career. One primary care physician also praised UH’s commitment to repaying student loans. 

There are also significant challenges transitioning from training programs to clinical practice. One common theme among responses was the struggle to find mentorship within respective departments. Junior clinicians also commented on the mental stress and challenges found in balancing clinical, administrative and research responsibilities, and in navigating the bureaucracy of a large health system. The changing health care climate has created increased demands on workload and productivity, as well as some anxiety and confusion over changes in compensation plans. Building patient volume and referral bases was cited as a constant struggle, especially for physicians in subspecialties. There were also several responses about challenges with onboarding. Fortunately, there is a newly created Office of Physician Services that is specifically designed to help with onboarding issues. 

I received excellent responses and thank those who participated. We have a highly motivated group of new physicians here at UH. Senior faculty are encouraged to continue to support and mentor them as they start their careers. My hope is to keep an open forum. Please email me at with ideas for further discussions. 

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