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Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty

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Author Info

  • Sean Nicholson

    (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Medical students must receive residency training in a specialty before they can practice medicine in the United States. Since the residents' salaries do not adjust across specialties, residency positions are rationed, and medical students face uncertainty when choosing a specialty. Using a data set with the preferred and realized specialties for 7,200 medical students, I estimate a model where students consider entry probabilities when selecting a specialty. I find that medical students are responsive to expected income differences between specialties, which implies that policies that increase the income of primary care physicians can address shortages in these specialties.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 816-847

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:20:y:2002:i:4:p:816-847

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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Cited by:
  1. Robert Gagné & Pierre Thomas Léger, 2005. "Determinants of physicians' decisions to specialize," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(7), pages 721-735.
  2. Schweri, Jürg & Hartog, Joop & Wolter, Stefan C., 2009. "Do Students Expect Compensation for Wage Risk?," IZA Discussion Papers 4069, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Peter Arcidiacono & Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Peer Effects in Medical School," NBER Working Papers 9025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pascal Courty & Gerald R. Marschke, 2008. "On the Sorting of Physicians across Medical Occupations," NBER Working Papers 14502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sivey, Peter & Scott, Anthony & Witt, Julia & Joyce, Catherine & Humphreys, John, 2012. "Junior doctors’ preferences for specialty choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 813-823.
  6. Sean Nicholson, 2005. "How Much Do Medical Students Know About Physician Income?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  7. Peter Arcidiacono & Sean Nicholson, 2000. "Peer Effects, Learning, and Physician Specialty Choice," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1553, Econometric Society.
  8. Fernandez, Jose, 2006. "Evaluating the Effect of a Policy Change to Hospital Productivity: 80 Hours Work Restriction on Medical Residents," MPRA Paper 8620, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Sean Nicholson & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice," NBER Working Papers 8536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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