Look through the newspapers, and you will most likely find articles espousing a mass exodus of urban residents moving to less crowded communities during the pandemic. And at first glance, it makes some sense. Local governments have banned bars, movies, exercise facilities, and more in the Covid era. Moreover, there are always close quarters, more prevalent in a city, which increase the risk of disease spread in the pandemic. So, why would anyone want to move to the city when finishing residency? It makes you think that new radiologists will permanently shun the cities.
But, are there other factors that may influence radiologists to choose a location to work over the coming years? Are they increasingly going to opt for a more simple life in rural America over the years to come? Let’s go through the motivations for young radiologists to stay or leave the urban landscape. Then, we will decide how it will all play out in the end.
Reasons For A Mass Exodus Of Radiologists From The Cities
Increased Fear of Close Interactions
Knowing that a highly infectious and potentially lethal disease can spread by respiratory droplets, definitely changes how you think about taking the subway, walking the streets, and assembling with groups of friends. But will it stick over the long run? We will see a slight shift in how we feel about living in the cities for years to come.
More Difficulties Raising A Family
All the challenges of living multiply in a large urban center when you have children as well. Imagine the issues that urban families face when they have to find day-care, nannies, and school with the added problems of a pandemic at hand. Of course, this factor will most certainly lessen the charms of living in a large city.
We learn many of our habits, wants, and “needs” from our colleagues and friends. The mere suggestion of your friends hinting that they no longer wish to live in a city to work can influence your choices of where you will want to settle down. So, new residents will more apt to move where their colleagues also want to go. This attitude can also persist over a long time.
Reasons For Radiologists To Stay
Typically, when you are on the side of an employer, the harder it becomes to find employees, the more you need to pay to get excellent workers. Theoretically, for this reason, you may begin to see better jobs and higher incomes in the city than before. Of course, with the massive student debt burdens, this can somewhat counteract the perceived threats of urban living in the Covid era.
With a shift of young adults moving to the suburbs and the more rural areas, you will decrease rental and, eventually, housing prices. If you reduce one of the most significant expenses that young families have when they start, you make it more attractive to the new employees, such as radiologists. Cities may become more attractive in this sense.
The Wild Card
Historically speaking, people have a short term memory when it comes to disasters. Look at the population of Manhattan after the twin towers fell. It didn’t take long for the citizens of New York to want to return to urban living. Or, look at the population of Nagasaki in Japan. At the time of the nuclear bomb, the number of residents was 263,000. Yet, today it has almost doubled at over 513,000. Finally, take the populations of most cities before and after the 1918 pandemic. Most recovered. So, the temporary cultural shifts that have occurred with previous disasters do not necessarily cause long term population shifts.
So, Will There Be A Mass Exodus From The Cities?
Well, it is true. Young radiologists will present with unique challenges if they choose to stick around in the cities for the next year or two. Additionally, pay, and housing costs will take some time to catch up to the new marketplace. So, some new radiologists will opt to live in more rural areas than would have previously.
But, this attitude will not last forever. The economics will eventually catch up. And, the culture will shift, once a vaccine becomes widely available. Based on these factors and history, radiologists will soon forget about the hazards of city life. So, don’t expect to see the competition for rural jobs to increase that much. The long term trends do not favor a seismic shift in deciding where to work and live. Logic dictates that you need to take reactive newspaper articles exclaiming a permanent mass exodus from the cities with a grain of salt!