Are independent or employed physicians happier? 6 key findings

As an increasing number of physicians consider employment from a healthcare organization, hospital or group practice, they may wonder if the grass is really greener on the other side.

A recent survey of nearly 5,000 physicians from Medscape helps shed light on what physicians like and dislike most about employment and self-employment.  

Here are eight key findings.

  • Once a physician is employed, they often don't look back. Medscape found twice as many physicians (27 percent) have switched from self-employment to employment as those who have made the opposite change (13 percent).
  • The most common reason physicians choose employment is for financial security (36 percent), followed by work-life balance (26 percent) and fewer administrative responsibilities (15 percent).
  • However, once physicians are employed, the perk they like most about employment is not having to deal with the business of running a practice.
  • The most disliked aspect of employment is the lack of autonomy.
  • Self-employed and employed physicians are about equally satisfied with their income, and feel an equal sense of pride and accomplishment.
  • On the whole, self-employed physicians are happier — 63 percent reported job satisfaction, compared to 53 percent of employed physicians.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

7 policies adopted at AMA's annual meeting
Using Snapchat to live-stream surgeries — a brewing controversy
Do physicians, administrators have the same priorities? Study says yes

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