Physicians Plan to Stay the Course

May 12, 2014
Laura Joszt

Although most physicians intend to continue practicing as they do now over the next 5 years, future plans vary greatly among age groups.

Although most physicians intend to continue practicing as they do now over the next 5 years, future plans vary greatly among age groups, according to a new report.

AMA Insurance’s 2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s U.S. Physician surveyed nearly 5,000 physicians and compared the answers across 3 age groups: ages 30 to 39, 40 to 59, and 60 to 69.

“The enthusiastic response of nearly 5,000 physician participants helped us build a deep and very realistic portrait of physicians’ lives today,” D.S. Friday CLU, vice president of Sales and Marketing of AMA Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of the AMA, said in a statement.

He added that the results of the survey reveal there is “no ‘one’ profile for physicians.” Profiles vary depending on age groups and even gender.

The full report covers a wide range of insights including home and family life, activities and hobbies, work life, technology use, personal finance and financial concerns, and future personal and practice plans. (Read more on the financial regrets and concerns of physicians.)

Physicians in the under-40 age group were more likely to work between 40 and 50 hours during the week (40%). Older physicians are more likely to work less: 21% of those ages 60 to 69 works less than 40 hours compared to 13% of those younger than 40 years and 12% of those between the ages of 40 and 59.

Overall, the typical work week for physicians is between 40 and 60 hours, although nearly 25% work 60 to more than 80 hours a week. Close to half of all age groups would like to work fewer hours and the oldest age group is the happiest with their current schedule.

Physicians still heavily prefer Apple devices, with the youngest age group even more so than their older counterparts. Of those younger than 40 years, 73% use an iPhone, 63% an iPad, and 34% a MacBook. Meanwhile, 2% of that age group doesn’t use an Android device, an Apple device or a Windows PC/tablet, compared to 4% of the middle age group, and 8% of the oldest age group.

The oldest age group is split on future plans. According to respondents, 44% plans to continue practicing as they do now while another 44% will retire. The next most common plans are to close their practices (7%) and change employers (7%).

Young physicians and middle-age physicians both heavily expect to continue practicing as they do now (69% and 70%, respectively), although the youngest age group is more likely to expect to change employers (23%).