Physicians Practice's "2012 Great American Physician Survey" includes the following results:
1. Employment is eclipsing private practice. While a recent survey from recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins predicted that the industry will see 75 percent of the nation's physicians employed by hospitals in 2014, Physicians Practice readers concurred that employment is becoming the more desirable option. Family physician Beau Ellenbecker, who recently left private practice to become employed, described it this way: "[I want to know] that my employees are going to get paid, that I don't have to bleed my knuckles to make sure that all my overhead is covered and whatnot, and then worry about where my paycheck is at the end of the day."
2. Work-life balance is important, especially for younger docs. Forty-eight percent of Physicians Practice respondents said they wished they worked fewer hours per week, but there were variations among generational groups. Among physicians under 36 who said they were overworked, 40 percent would willingly accept less money for a lighter schedule, while 21 percent would give up partnership for a reduced workload. In contrast, just 4 percent of docs over age 65 would forego partnership for less work. A recent article from the Associated Press highlights this trend, profiling younger physicians who say that making more time for family and other interests outside of medicine makes them better, healthier doctors.
3. Alternate practice models are gaining favor. In 2009, 17 percent of Physicians Practice survey respondents said concierge-style was bad for the health system or unethical. In 2012, the critics dropped to 13 percent, signaling some change of heart on the model. In fact, nearly 10 percent of 2012 survey respondents said they are considering or are already working in a concierge-type practice. A recent ethics forum article from American Medical News delves into physicians' changing attitude. Indeed, the Government Accounting Office estimated that the number of physicians practicing retainer-based care increased more than tenfold from 1999 to 2004, amednews reported, adding that an estimated 1,000 to 5,000 doctors currently practice in these models.
Access to the actual survey and accompanying article are restricted by paid subscription.
Tags: Practice Management Physician Reimbursement American Medical Association