Survey Examines Physician Workforce Trends, Practice Preferences

Jul 30, 2013, 9:00 AM

Many physicians report flat or declining income, but few anticipate a career move in the short term, according to an annual survey from The Medicus Firm.

Fifty-four percent of physicians in training at the time of the survey indicated a preference for employment by a hospital or academic center.

When asked what limits their pay, many practicing physicians expressed frustration with the limits of hospital contracts and pay structures. They also cited time spent learning, using electronic medical records, and declining reimbursements.

“In an era when hospitals are competing on a national level for every physician they hire, practice preferences can be very helpful in composing a recruiting strategy and compensation package that will stand out and attract doctors," Medicus Firm President Jim Stone said in a news release about the survey. “With the majority of the nation's more than 5,000 hospitals currently recruiting doctors, physician recruiting trends impact the general patient population in addition to hospitals, as physicians choose where to settle and provide health care that is in higher demand than ever before.”

The survey also found that only 6.1 percent of physicians are open to practicing in a small town with fewer than 25,000 residents; nearly 60 percent prefer metropolitan or suburban locations.

The annual survey of more than 2,500 doctors was conducted by The Medicus Firm, a national physician recruiting firm based in Dallas and Atlanta.

Read more about the survey in a Medicus Firm news release and in Becker’s Hospital Review.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.