Without a doubt, physicians are increasingly employed by hospitals, health plans and corporations.
- The Physicians Foundation 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians: Practice Patterns and Perspectives reports 31% of physicians identify as independent practice owners or partners, down from 33% in 2016 and 48.5% in 2012.
- The American Medical Association, using 2016 data, says 47.1% remain independent.
- The consulting firm Accenture estimates the number of independent physicians is approximately 33%.
- The American Academy of Family Physicians reports 68% of their active members are employed and “90% of positions offered to new residency graduates are employed rather than independent.”
The Physician Misery Index is nearly 4 out of 5
Earlier this year, Geneia updated its physician research and discovered the nationwide Physician Misery Index has climbed to 3.94 out of 5 since our inaugural survey in 2015. The survey also found:
- 89% of physicians say the “business and regulation of healthcare” has changed the practice of medicine for the worse
- 80% say they are personally at risk for burnout
- 96% report they have witnessed or experienced physician burnout impacts such as cynicism, severe stress and dissatisfied patients
Employed physicians are more dissatisfied
Geneia’s survey of 300 full-time physicians who have been practicing post-residency for more than four years also revealed that doctors who are employed by hospitals and corporations are more dissatisfied and burned out than those who work independently and in physician-owned practices.
- 60% of all physicians agree “it happens more and more often that I talk about my work in a negative way.”
69% of corporate/hospital-owned physicians say they are talking about work in a more negative way compared to 51% agreement among physician/independent-owned respondents, an ownership gap of 18 percentage points.
- Nearly all physicians (96%) report they have witnessed or experienced physician burnout impacts such as cynicism, severe stress, dissatisfied patients and lower empathy for patients. Physicians working in corporate or hospital-owned organizations were even more likely to witness or experience the negative impacts of physician burnout.
- 57% of independent physicians report lower empathy for patients as the result of physician burnout compared to 72% of corporate/ hospital-owned physicians, an ownership gap of 15 percentage points.
To read the full report comparing the sentiment comparisons of corporate/hospital-owned physicians with independent physicians and those who work for physician-owned practices, click here.
Join Geneia in Reversing Epidemic Levels of Physician Burnout
The costs and implications of epidemic levels of physician dissatisfaction are high. Given the trend of hospitals and health plans acquiring physician practices combined with higher levels of physician burnout among these employed physicians, research shows more patients are at risk for a safety incident.
That’s why we’re calling on all health IT companies to involve physicians in the design and implementation of health technology products and to measure physician satisfaction.
All healthcare and health IT companies are invited to join Geneia in monitoring and addressing physician satisfaction and to use the company’s nine-question physician survey.
For more information about Geneia’s Joy of Medicine initiative and to download the physician satisfaction survey, click here.
Physicians who wish to take the survey and compare their answers to the national results are invited to click here.