Alexandra Kharazi, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon in California, transitioned from being an employed physician to private practice. She values the autonomy it offers, even if it means working longer hours without strict schedules or specific policies. On the other hand, Cassandra Boduch, MD, an employed psychiatrist in Houston, prefers the stability and simplicity of employment, noting the complexities of private practice. The American Medical Association (AMA) states that from 2012 to 2022, physicians in private practice decreased from 60% to 47%, while those working in hospitals increased from about 6% to 10%. Economic stress, Medicare payment cuts, rising practice costs, and administrative burdens are among the reasons for this shift.
Medscape’s Employed Physicians Report 2023 reveals that employed physicians appreciate not having to manage a business, a steady income, employer-covered malpractice insurance, and work-life balance. However, some feel like mere cogs in a machine, lamenting bureaucracy and the lack of understanding from non-physician business administrators. When it comes to administrative rules, 63% believe they make sense for the business, but only 52% think they’re logical for the doctors.
- How will the trend of decreasing private practices impact the medical field in the long run?
- What measures can be taken to ensure that employed physicians feel valued and not just like “cogs in a machine”?
- As the medical landscape changes, how can medical education adapt to better prepare future doctors for the realities of their chosen career paths?