Employment: Is Security Really Worth It?

Leigh Page

Disclosures

July 16, 2015

In This Article

A Tidal Wave of Newly Employed Doctors

Physicians have been flooding into employment. Studies within the past few years have shown that about one half of all physicians are employed, and one of the newest surveys,[1] by Medscape, showed that fully 63% of doctors were employed.

Employed doctors seek security—a steady salary, a predictable schedule, and not having to manage the business side of medicine. But for many, it's a Faustian bargain, to some extent. In return for security, they give up some control. They may have to see a certain number of patients, consult clinical guidelines, have their practice patterns monitored, and be unable to hire their own staff.

What effect do these new constraints have on a profession that has always prided itself on independence? Will the employment trend forever change the face of medicine?

Formerly Employed Doctors Pinpoint Concerns

Most employed physicians are generally happy with their work, but a number of them are bailing out and returning to independent practice, and they have some sobering stories to tell.

Some refugees from employment have been contacting OmniMD, a Tarrytown, New York-based company that helps set up information technology, because they need IT when they reopen private practices.

"These doctors have just had it," reports OmniMD CEO Divan Dave. "They feel that they were just another employee. They tell me, 'The hospital has put me on a treadmill, and the incline keeps going up.'"

Similar concerns were voiced by a cardiologist who was employed by two large health systems in the South. He asked not to be identified because he had critical things to say about both organizations, and he will still need to deal with them now that he is setting up a private practice in the community. Following are some of the experiences he had with one or the other system.

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