5 things to know about how physicians make employment, practice decisions

As many as one in five providers plan to make a career change within the next year, and only 27 percent were able to say they are definitely not going to make a change, according to an annual survey from The Medicus Firm.

Results of The Medicus Firm's 13th annual "Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey" include responses from more than 2,400 providers across 21 specialties and 50 states, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Based on these responses, here are five things to know about what concerns physicians, what they look for in career opportunities and where they seek those opportunities.

1. The single most motivating factor inspiring a job change would be financial rewards or scheduling. For physicians in practice, financial rewards were the top factor in making career moves, while physicians in training said their work hours would be the greatest factor. Geographic location was also rated an important factor among both groups.

2. Unsurprisingly, respondents rated compensation and work/life balance as their two greatest concerns for their practice and career. After that, the next most pressing concern was work-related burnout and stress. Comparatively, most are not concerned about implementing EMRs, becoming part of an accountable care organization, physician recruitment, online reviews or retirement.  

3. Physicians are nearly evenly split on their satisfaction with compensation. Almost 37 percent reported feeling satisfied with their 2015 compensation, while 34 percent reported feeling unsatisfied and 29 percent were neutral. More than half of respondents expect their compensation to remain the same in 2016 as it was in 2015, but almost a third (29.6 percent) believe it will increase, and 18.9 percent believe their 2016 compensation will decrease compared to 2015.

4. Physicians tend to prefer practices in urban, suburban or mid-sized city areas in the eastern part of the country — New England, the Mid Atlantic and the Southeast. The Pacific Northwest has the second most interest among providers. In terms of practice settings, provider preference varies, especially between those in practice and those in training. Physicians in practice find single specialty group practices most appealing, while those in training find hospital employment most attractive.

5. Physicians look for job opportunities primarily online and by networking with colleagues. Recruiting firms were the third most used source, while journal advertisements, social media and smart phone apps were unpopular sources of job opportunities.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

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Survey: Americans satisfied with primary care physicians, but worried about cost

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