New Lifestyle Report Finds Residents Ready to Use Telehealth

Neil Chesanow


July 28, 2015

In This Article

Your Future: Partner/Owner or Employee?

Most residents (80%) told us that they had a good idea of what they wanted to do after residency. But what about their long-term goals? Do they see themselves one day being a partner in or owning their own practices, being an employee with regular hours—what most doctors currently do—or perhaps doing both at different times in their careers?

Their responses were pretty evenly divided, with 26% respondents opting for partner/owner, 24% preferring employment, 24% thinking they might want to do both, and 27% not sure.

While average resident responses about future goals were a four-way tie, when future goals were broken out by gender, there were significant differences. Nearly one third of male residents (31%) envisioned themselves as one day being a partner in or owner of a medical practice. But only 17% of female residents had the same aspiration.

Conversely, a significantly higher percentage of female than male residents (31% vs 19%) saw employment as their preferred career option. Somewhat more male than female residents (26% vs 21%) could see themselves as employees and practice partners/owners at different stages of their careers.

A higher percentage of female than male residents (31% vs 24%) were uncertain about their future goals.

In each of these aspirations, however, residents may discover that the reality of medicine beyond the post-residency hospital environment is more complicated than it may appear from the inside looking out.

Becoming a practice partner or owner, for example, is still a worthy goal. But it's more challenging to run a successful independent practice at a time when hospitals and integrated delivery systems are buying up primary care and specialty practices to shore up market share—and cutting off referrals from practices that refuse to sell—and when urgent care centers and retail clinics are taking away patients. A Medscape article, "A Small Practice's Fight to Stay Independent: Can It Work?," discusses these challenges and the strategies that independent practices are using to buck the trend toward consolidation.

This is not to say that working for someone else necessarily makes for the uncomplicated, stress-free life that many residents desire. As noted in a recent Medscape article, "Employment: Is Security Really Worth It?," employment brings many benefits but also many downsides. Do practicing physicians think employment is worth it? As the article points out, their assessment was decidedly mixed.


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