The Anonymous Physician:
Employment verses private practice
To create a safe platform for physicians to discuss pressing issues in healthcare, we’re launching an Anonymous Physician column. From time to time, we’ll pose a question to a doctor, or a group of doctors, and post their answers anonymously, giving them the freedom to be frank and uninhibited. After all, we believe the best solutions come out of open discussion. We hope you enjoy this first installment.
The issue: Employment verses private practice
This decade has seen an historic rise in hospital employment, and more and more physician practices are being acquired by larger systems. But many young physicians still gravitate toward private practice. Understanding the draw of both employment models could help healthcare leaders better understand how to create the best possible working environment for physicians—and ultimately attract more people to the field of medicine.
We asked two young physicians about their recent employment decisions. One of them chose to go into private practice, and the other chose hospital employment. What factors influenced that decision?
Anonymous Physician A
Male, Urologist, Age 35
“I decided to go into private practice for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wanted the autonomy that comes with being a partner/owner of a practice. Secondly, in the long run, private practice will be more lucrative financially. And ultimately, it was the upstanding people of the practice that I wanted to call my colleagues.”
Anonymous Physician B
Male, Neurology, Age 37
“I chose employment because I wouldn’t have to worry about the headache of starting my own practice (office costs, hiring of ancillary staff, advertising/marketing to recruit patients etc). Also being a stroke specialist, my work is predominantly in the hospital using the tools the hospital provides for proper evaluation, so makes it easier for me.”
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