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Are healthcare jobs really recession-proof?

January 4th, 2009 at 08:12 am

I'm not really sure about that. Even though all of the sites I have visited such as Yahoo Hot Jobs, Kiplingers, etc. include health care careers on their listings, I still have doubts. In fact is ANY job really recession-proof??

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the country's fastest-growing careers are those in the health care field...but do these positions actually weather the storm??

Up until yesterday (at my Saturday job) I wasn't too concerned about my job...I felt secure. Just two weeks ago I worked, and since then there has been much news there. Two receptionist/clerical workers have been laid off, the office manager was fired, and one of the doctors is leaving the practice. I don't know any details other than that. I really don't think that any of the items I mentioned other than the first one is related to the economy. I'm speculating that the doctor who is leaving may be going solo or to another group practice.

I feel somewhat better knowing that none of the clinical staff (of which I am one) has been laid off....yet. It is a large practice. The problem is that I was one of the last employees hired and I only work Saturdays.

I would be extremely worried if this whole scenario were the case at my full-time job. But based on previous experiences...the financial status there hasn't been in such good standing long before the problems surfaced with the US economy. The "doctor" owner here has had problems managing his money for years. So far though...no lay-offs. I just hope it stays that way.

I still have a busy schedule at both offices, so hopefully I will be able to hang on to both my full and part time jobs.

5 Responses to “Are healthcare jobs really recession-proof?”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    We have a lot of medical clients who have been struggling for a few years with the insurance/medicare situation. I wouldn't say recession proof in the least. Though, nurses have it pretty good in this economy. (As far as an abundance of jobs anyway). Doctors in private practice are cutting back though, yes. Depends on the area I guess.

  2. Finch Says:

    Jeesh, that's a lot of people to leave in such a short time. I don't think any job is recession-proof, really. I work in the UK NHS, so my job is *hopefully* secure. You never can tell though! Frown

  3. disneysteve Says:

    I've said in a couple of discussions in the forums that I don't think healthcare is immune to the recession. Many hospitals are struggling to stay afloat. Analysts expect to see many hospitals file for bankruptcy or close entirely in 2009. Doctors' offices are also struggling. Expenses keep rising while insurance reimbursement is flat or falling, making it less and less feasible to stay in business. Many practices merge as a result to take advantage of economies of scale, buying in bulk, etc. In the process, though, jobs get eliminated. If 5 practices merge, they don't need 5 employees doing billing, for example. Three may be enough, so 2 get let go.

    The lousy economy is causing many patients to postpone elective procedures and put off non-life-threatening operations. That has a ripple effect on doctors, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Many patients are switching to cheaper generic drugs which has an impact on the pharmaceutical industry.

    So no, healthcare is not immune to the recession at all.

  4. homebody Says:

    I just secured a good position in a hospital, I am a medical transcriptionist. Even though I am the last hired, we will get rid of the contract employees first (which I was up until a month ago), so I feel fairly secure. However, if my independently owed employer goes under, that will be another story. My OD is an ultrasound technologist and her perinatology office is looking to add another tech so she feels pretty secure.

    My brother is a physician's assistant, actually owns part of the practice he is involved in and for the first time in years and years, he did not go to Mexico for Thanksgiving, so I know they are cutting back.

  5. fern Says:

    The most recession-proof job i can think of is if you'r enlisted in the military. No one ever gets laid off as a soldier.

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