More physicians are currently employed by hospitals or medical practices than ever before, while fewer are in private practice. Since 2000, physicians as a group have shifted from private practice to being employed, according to a 2016 Medscape report. And the rate of employed physicians has grown by more than 30% from 2000 through 2016.
One reason for this shift is that health care reform and declining reimbursements in many specialties have created greater stress and uncertainty for physicians in private practice. Another reason is that many physicians today want to focus on treating patients — rather than jumping through the many hoops that running a medical practice involves. Here are some tips for surviving — and thriving — in the current complex medical world.
Hospital and practice employment strategies
Physicians who work for a hospital or medical practice usually get paid, so they have more financial security. In addition, they obviously don’t have to worry about human resources, billing, collections, rent, overhead and day-to-day operations.
Here are some tips for achieving success in employment:
If any of these issues raise flags, you might want to explore involvement in any of the hospital’s business-related committees (such as compensation) or management-related positions.
Private practice strategies
Physicians in private practice don’t have to abide by policies, procedures and pay set by someone else. They can use the electronic health record systems and practice models they’ve determined are best for them.
If private practice seems a better fit for you, consider these strategies to help ensure success:
Reap the rewards
Being a physician is a rewarding career, but all too often the business, regulatory or administrative aspects of it lead to high stress and career burnout. Some physicians thrive in private practice, while others prefer employment. Make an educated decision to ensure you’ll be the best doctor you can be.