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America's healthcare market is continually evolving and changing the way Physicians practice medicine. If you are a Physician that's seeking a new employment opportunity, it is vital to know what current trends are happening and how they may affect your options. To help you get up to speed on some of these changes, take a look at these practice trends.
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According to the AMA's 2018 Physician Practice Benchmark Survey, the tide has turned and more Physicians are now employees than are owners. This change appears to be driven by increases in direct competition and decreased reimbursement, pushing many Physicians towards employee status positions.
Even though a majority of Physicians have moved towards employee status, there are still some that find practice ownership to be most beneficial. This option is most popular for Physicians working in surgical subspecialties, where 64% of those practicing endorse an ownership*. This group is followed closely by Physicians working in the areas of OB-GYN, Internal Medicine, and Radiology, where at least half endorse ownership status*.
Working as an Independent Contractor has also become an increasingly popular option for Physicians wanting to maintain ownership while also enjoying practice flexibility. Around 27% of Emergency Medicine Physicians endorse that they are currently practicing as Independent Contractors*.
Changes in the business of medicine have prompted many to leave solo practice for group practices. The top specialties following this trend work in single-specialty groups in the areas of OB-GYN, anesthesiology, and radiology*. For those Physicians not in single-specialty groups, multiple-specialty groups are a popular option that around 25% of Physicians have made their practice model of choice*.
It wasn't long ago that a majority of Physicians were in solo practice seeing their own patients on their own terms. This has changed greatly in the last few decades, as only 14% of Physicians currently work in solo practice*. Although many have abandoned this practice model, it continues to be a popular option for Psychiatrists above all other specialties.
According to the results of a 2019 AMGA Survey3 on productivity and income, compensation for Physicians increased by nearly 3%. This income boost parallels an increase in the number of Physicians endorsing part-time employment status. These part-time Physicians are also being offered more employee benefits than ever before despite their PT status4. This illustrates a shift away from previous norms where part-time Physicians were excluded from many benefit options due to their reduced hours.
Some areas remain static though as benefits such as retirement, PTO, and medical insurance, according to 2018 AGMA Survey4 results, have not seen a notable change for several years now.
* C.Kane. Policy Research Perspectives: Updated Data on Physician Practice Arrangements: For the First Time, Fewer Physicians are Owners Than Employees. AMA 2018 Physician Practice Benchmark Survey3 AMGA Press Release: Physician Pay Increased, Productivity Remained Stagnant in 2018, AMGA Survey Finds4 AMGA Press Release: AMGA Survey Shows Physician Benefits Packages Remain Largely Unchanged Over Five Years.