HCPLive Network

Nearly Half of Physicians are Discontent

Laura Joszt | Saturday, June 15, 2013
In general, physicians are so discontent that more than half said they wouldn’t recommend the medical profession to the next generation, according to the results of a survey.
The Jackson Healthcare “Filling the Void: 2013 Physician Outlook & Practice Trends” report revealed that physician discontent is creating a void in health care as these physicians prepare to leave medicine early, either through retirement or a career change.
More than a third (36%) reported a negative outlook for the future of their careers and just 16% reported a favorable outlook. Plus, 59% said they were unlikely to recommend the medical profession to a young person considering entering the medical field as a physician.
Satisfied physicians were more likely to be male, older than 45 years old and anesthesiologists, surgery subspecialists, pediatric subspecialists or dermatologists. However, overall, 42% of physician respondents reported being dissatisfied.
Dissatisfied physicians were more likely to be female, younger than 45 and practicing internal medicine, primary care, family medicine, emergency medicine, hospitalist/critical care, musculoskeletal specialties or radiology.
Unsurprisingly, the more hours a physician reported working and the fewer support staff he or she had access to, the more dissatisfied the physician was. While 52% of physicians working permanent jobs were in private practice and planned to stay, 31% never worked in private practice and the rest have either already left private practice or plan to leave.
According to Jackson Healthcare, 39% of physicians younger than 45 years of age have never worked in private practice. So, although QuantiMD and CareCloud’s recent Practice Profitability Index revealed that only 11% of independent physicians are looking to sell their practices, solo practitioners continue to disappear as medical school graduates choose hospital employment.
In the next year, 23% of physicians either plan to leave medicine or are considering to do so — a rather large increase from just 14% who said so in 2012. According to the survey results, 18% plan to retire or leave medicine within the next five years. When the timeline increases to 10 years, the percent of physicians looking to leave medicine or retire increases to 36%.
Close to 3,500 physicians completed the survey from Jackson Healthcare.

Right now physicians are faced with much uncertainty, complexity and considerable pressure to change their ways. So how do you decide if private practice or hospital employment is right for you?
Not all states are created equal, and just like many considerations go into choosing a place to retire, the same can be said for which state a physician decides to practice medicine.
Leaving residency or fellowship is the time physicians have to decide whether to remain employed by a hospital or go into private practice. Each scenario has pros and cons depending on lifestyle preferences.
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