53% of Doctors Still Self-Employed

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 18, 2013

It is also becoming increasingly uncommon for independent physicians to be recruited into other independent practices. "We recruit that doctor not for another independent setting. They are going into an employed setting," Miller says.

"That gradually siphons off the numbers of independent doctors. Even in the AMA survey they're showing that the percentage of hospital employed doctors is growing. Today it's a little unusual for a doctor to go from one independent practice to another."

The AMA study also found that:

  • The percentage of physicians who were practice owners in 2012 decreased eight percentage points from 2007/2008.
  • 18% of physicians were in solo practice, down 6% points over five years.
  • Single specialty practice was the most common practice type in 2012, accounting for 45.5% of physicians.

Miller says every trend is pointing towards the employed model.

"The number of solo settings that we recruit into 10 years ago was close to 20%. Last year it was 1%. It was the same thing with partnerships," he says. "Solo practices and partnerships were the classic independent settings and now we do next to none of those anymore. Pretty much 90% or more of the settings we recruit into now feature employment of one kind or another."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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