Doctors Become Reluctant Employees As Many Are Forced Out of Private Practice

By The Medicus Firm

DALLAS, Feb. 21, 2014 — /PRNewswire/ — As consolidation in healthcare continues, and more mergers and acquisitions occur, many physicians are becoming employees and less interested in private practice ownership. How do physicians feel about the transition from practicing as an owner or partner of a practice, to practicing as an employee?

The Medicus Firm, a leading national physician search firm, and MDLinx.com Career Center, a leader in physician recruitment advertising, partnered to gauge physicians’ insights, expectations, and perceptions of being an employee compared to owning a private practice. The survey of 536 physicians, conducted by M3 Global Research, found that many physicians see employment as a necessary “shelter from the storm” in today’s healthcare environment.

When asked to select the three reasons to pursue an employed opportunity, necessity (“it is the only financially viable option”) was most frequently selected as the primary motivation for choosing employment over primary practice, and the second most common answer selected as one of several motives.

What is the implication to hospitals and physicians’ employers?  Levels of stress and burn-out may increase among doctors, says Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm.

“As doctors lose more and more control over their professional lives, they may start to feel increasingly stressed and frustrated. Gradually, physicians’ autonomy continues to erode.” Stone adds that, while physician recruiting trends towards employment and away from private practice, the reality of practicing as an employee may be tougher than physicians’ expectations of employment.

“In reviewing thousands of client job postings on our site, we see recruiters emphasizing the importance of work and personal life balance when seeking candidates,” remarks Matt Baker, Vice President of Physician Recruitment Advertising MDLinx.com Career Center.  “Our experience tells us that this trend is in response to heavy workloads, financial pressure from decreasing insurance reimbursements and rising costs of practice ownership.”

Although a physician has signed an employment contract, the physician may feel apprehensive about practicing as an employee. Jim Stone advises healthcare executives and administrators to pay special attention to newly employed physicians who recently migrated from private practice, and offer them added support and guidance during the on-boarding process and throughout the first year of employment.

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink the Kool-Aid,” says Stone.  “Healthcare management should be sensitive to the fact that, for some physicians, this may be the first time he or she has worked as an employee in many years, if ever. Regardless of one’s occupation, the transition from owner to employee can be stressful. However, for physicians, who already cope with many stressful industry changes, the transition to employment could be particularly overwhelming.”

CMJ- As pressure mounts on the private physician, concierge medicine and direct primary care offer a solution.  Physicians now have a viable solution to remain in private practice successfully and retain their autonomy. Something that will surely attract new physicians into primary care, which in needed immediately.

READ FULL STORY HERE 

About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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