AMA Study: 53% of Physicians Are Self-Employed

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Despite the trend in healthcare of hospitals and health systems acquiring and employing physicians, more than half of physicians — 53.2 percent — were self-employed in 2012, according to a study recently released by the American Medical Association.

Additionally, 60 percent of physicians worked in physician practices wholly owned by physicians last year.

Even though more than half of physicians were independent in 2012, there has been an increase in hospital employment in the last five years. Last year, 29 percent of physicians either worked directly for a hospital or for a practice that was at least partially owned by a hospital, while a 2007/2008 AMA study showed 16.3 percent of physicians worked in one of those two employment settings.

"To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of private practice medicine have been greatly exaggerated," said Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, president of AMA, in a news release.

Data from the study was drawn from a nationally representative random sample of post-residency physicians who provided at least 20 hours of patient care per week.

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