Dr. Jaime Rodgers, a highly-regarded 2nd year internal medicine resident at University of Texas-Southwest (UTSW) Medical Center, has announced plans to forgo his third and final year of residency to “go pro” as an attending. After meeting with his family, his faculty advisor, and his residency director, Dr. Rodgers announced at a press conference, televised on public access television, that he will accept a contract with Southern Medical Group (SMG) as an internist starting in July. He then proceeded to sign the contract in front of the cameras.
“I have talked to my family, prayed long and hard, and I believe it is time to take my talents to SMG and see what I am capable of,” Dr. Rodgers stated, as he took a hat with SMG’s logo on it out from under the table and put it on his head.
As Dr. Rodgers has already signed with a group, he will not be able to return to his own residency per ACGME regulations if he changes his mind. His residency director commented that he feels Jaime is an excellent resident and seems ready for the challenge of being an attending. However, he is concerned about the fact he has not taken critical rotations in nephrology, endocrinology, emergency medicine, and has only done one outpatient medicine rotation. He recommended against Jaime coming out, but he acknowledges the market for strong residents is in high demand and the money is too great.
Dr. Rodgers responded, “I plan to do extra studying during my weekends off and I will finish my studies online through the University of Phoenix. My mother always taught me that education should be the important thing in your life and I plan to live by her words.”
ACGME has expressed concerns that this could open the floodgates to future poaching of residents, interns, and even medical students. Recruiters for SMG were recently spotted outside an Alpha Omega Alpha honor society meeting for 4th year medical students at UTSW with pen and paper in hand to have students sign “letters of intent” for them to work with SMG after residency in return for a small stipend donated by their “booster club.”