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6 More Facts about Independent Physicians vs. Employed Physicians

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In our last post, we began looking at a list of 11 facts about physician independence and employment, courtesy of Allison Sobczak over at ASCReview. Today, we look at the final six facts on her list.

1. Physicians under 40 and female physicians of any age are more likely to take the employment route than either their male or over-40 colleagues.

According to Medscape’s “Employed Doctors Report: Are They Better Off?,” “78 percent of male physicians are self-employed, compared with 22 percent of female physicians. Seventy percent of physicians older than 40 years old are employed, compared with 88 percent of physicians younger than 40.”

2. Hospital acquisitions are on the rise, so many physicians are being forced to choose employment.

According to Sobczak, “Twenty percent of physicians responding in to a 2014 ProCare Systems survey reported planning to sell their practice within the next decade; 10 percent within the next three years. Forty-four percent anticipate selling their practice at some point, but 73 percent said they'd prefer to remain independent.”

3. Most employed physicians “work for hospitals or large group practices owned by hospitals, but others are also big employers.”

The percentage of these physicians is roughly 49 percent compared to only 21 percent who “are employed by private groups.”

4. Financial security is the primary incentive for physicians who give up their independence.

“Thirty-eight percent of employed physicians cite financial security as their number one reason for choosing employment,” Sobczak reports. “Around 29 percent and 19 percent point to less administrative responsibilities and better work-life balance, respectively.”

5. Employed physicians don’t have as much of an influence on the way care is delivered as self-employed physicians do.

Perhaps it’s this autonomy that makes the other hassles worth it for the self-employed physician. Many of them said they like “being their own boss and not having to answer to multiple layers of authority,” while “45 percent of employed physicians say limited influence in decision-making is a downside to employment.”

6. There is no difference in the job-satisfaction rates of employed physicians versus independent physicians.

“When asked to rate their levels of satisfaction, independent and employed physicians are equally satisfied, with 65 percent of self-employed physicians being somewhat more satisfied compared to 59 percent physicians,” Sobczak writes. “About 70 percent of physicians who moved from employment to self-employment say they’re happier than the 49 percent who chose to take the opposite route.”

As physicians who are looking for jobs, which pros and cons of employment and/or independence are influencing your decision-making the most?

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