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19-04-2021 | Original Article | Uitgave 9/2021 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 9/2021

Early career perspectives of young Dutch cardiologists

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 9/2021
V. M. M. Vorselaars, A. C. van der Heijden, R. Joustra, W. R. Berger, G. P. J. van Hout, G. F. L. Kapel, R-J. Nuis, P. Woudstra, S. R. D. Piers
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V.M.M. Vorselaars and A.C. van der Heijden contributed equally



There are nationwide concerns about the unemployment rate among young Dutch cardiologists and the increase in temporary positions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the unemployment rate in this subgroup as well as the length of time between the end of their training and the acquisition of a permanent position.


All cardiologists who completed their training between January 2015 and December 2018 were invited to fill in an online questionnaire about their demographic characteristics, professional profile and employment status. The unemployment rate was calculated and Kaplan-Meier curves were used to determine the time between the end of training and the first permanent contract.


In total, 174 participants were included (mean age 35 ± 3 years, 64% male, median follow-up 2.3 years (interquartile range 1.4–3.2 years)). The unemployment rate was 0.6% (n = 1). Only 12 participants (7%) started their career with a permanent position. The percentage of cardiologists with a temporary position was 82%, 61% and 33% at 1, 2 and 3 years, respectively. The percentage of cardiologists with a temporary position did not differ with regard to age, gender, holding a PhD degree or type of teaching institution attended (academic vs non-academic). Forty-four per cent of participants perceived the current job market to be problematic.


The unemployment rate among young cardiologists in the Netherlands was low between 2015 and 2018. The vast majority of cardiologists start their career on a temporary contract. Three years later, 33% still hold temporary positions. Due to the resultant job insecurity, many young cardiologists describe the job market as problematic.

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