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Physicians Provide a Gift for the Holidays - Access to Quality Healthcare

December 18, 2019

Physicians Provide a Gift for the Holidays - Access to Quality Healthcare

By Tom Florence, EVP at Merritt Hawkins


Poor health is not a respecter of holidays. In fact, there are millions of people across the country this holiday season who will suffer from a serious malady or who will be involved in an accident that causes injury.


The good news is that almost all of these people will have access to a physician – either their own physician, a physician to whom they have been referred, or a physician on staff at a hospital emergency department.


And it will not be just any physician.  Physicians licensed to practice in the U.S. have been through the most rigorous medical education and training system in the world.  They have completed four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to seven years or more of U.S.-based residency and/or fellowship training. Those with any time on the job have likely treated thousands of patients.  


Each year, physicians in the U.S. handle approximately 1.2 billion patient encounters, about 136 million of them in hospital emergency rooms.  


During holiday seasons, weekends or off hours—when most people are at home or pursuing some form of personal business or recreation—thousands of physicians are working shifts at hospital emergency departments or are on-call, ready to come to the hospital if summoned.  Their skill and knowledge are gifts that no one wants an occasion to receive, particularly during the holidays, but they are literally life-saving when the need for them does arise.


So on behalf of everyone at Merritt Hawkins, I would like send our best wishes to the hardworking physicians and other health care professionals who keep us and our families healthy and whole – which is the best gift of all. We appreciate your sacrifices, every day of the year.


Happy holidays!




Tom Florence is Executive Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, the nation’s leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare.   He can be reached at tom.florence@merritthawkins.com.


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