Top 6 Reasons Why Physicians are Choosing Employment by Hospitals

This time last year CNN Money published an article that addressed how “the solo doctor is a vanishing breed.” They cited that by 2014, two-thirds of the U.S.’s one million doctors will be employed by hospitals since the medical marketplace is gradually squeezing out solo docs. With the large amount of overhead that comes from operating a private practice in addition to administrative responsibilities, independent physicians are finding out that they may have bitten off more than they could chew. In fact, the number of employed physicians is up 26 percent for 2013 compared to only 6 percent in 2012, according to Jackson Healthcare. With those figures in mind, here are the top six reasons why more physicians are choosing employment by hospitals over solo practices.

  1. Cost of overhead: A physician’s practice needs about $100,000 just to get off the ground. With expenses such as rent, payroll, insurance, medical equipment, EHR systems and IT support, some docs simply don’t have enough money to invest in their own medical practice.
  2. Administrative duties: Most doctors got into medicine because they wanted to treat sick patients. But times have changed, and the responsibilities of a physician have increased dramatically. Doctors are overwhelmed with patient loads and don’t have time to deal with the administrative hassles that come with owning their own practice.
  3. Lack of business acumen: There are a lot of financial and legal implications to running your own practice. You have to manage your practice like a business, and unfortunately, most doctors aren’t all that business savvy. Strategizing how money will be spent or invested is one thing employed physicians won’t have to worry about. The hospital takes care of everything.
  4. Better perks: Physicians are in high demand by hospitals and health care systems across the nation. Many are using recruitment tactics such as signing bonuses, additional vacation time, relocation expenses, and loan forgiveness to attract top talent.
  5. Job security: As a salaried employee, you are guaranteed a steady paycheck. You are assured an income at the end of every pay period, and don’t have to worry if your practice will break even.
  6. Worklife balance: Employment at a hospital allows for a better work-life balance, something that is missing from the lives of some private physicians. When you run your own practice, you are your own boss which means you will be hampered down by heavy workloads and long hours. Physicians employed by hospitals work a specific number of hours, receive days off and get to spend time with their families when the work day is over.

It’s true that working in a hospital is a safer, more financially stable work situation, but it may not be for everyone. If you are confident that you can keep your private practice afloat and can avoid the pitfalls that come with owning your own practice, stay the course and prove the naysayers wrong. If you are leaning toward hospital employment or are in the middle of selling your practice, remember these six reasons why many practitioners prefer to work in a hospital.


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