Today’s physicians are in the enviable position of being in such high demand that they have any number and variety of career options to choose from. Some, in recent years, have left their private practice for hospital or large health system employment, while others have reconsidered and returned to a private setting. Let’s take a look at the main differences between being an employed physician vs. self-employed.
- Financial Stability – Physicians working in a hospital or hospital-owned group do not have to worry about over-head, billing, administrative, or other private practice concerns. They know what their salary is going to be and any types of financial incentives they need to meet.
- Focus on Medicine – Like financial stability, employed physicians don’t have as many distractions or the responsibilities of running the practice, in addition to treating their patients. This allows their focus to remain on doing what they love to do most, practice medicine.
- Benefits/Insurance Coverage – Like most careers, when you are working for a larger organization, you tend to have better insurance and other benefits. Employed physicians typically have better malpractice insurance as another added benefit over private practice.
- Regular Schedule – In an employment setting, physicians tend to negotiate a stable work schedule, limited call duties, and paid vacation time.
- Academic Opportunities – In an employed setting, physicians who have the desire to pursue research and other academic opportunities can do so without losing billable hours at a private practice.
- Autonomy – As much as employed physicians have guaranteed financial security, self-employed physicians have the autonomy to practice medicine the way they deem is best. Self-employed physicians do not have administrators or other executives dictating various processes or rules that may be contrary to the physician’s practice methods.
- Workplace Culture – Physicians in a self-employed setting have the ability to develop the culture and values of their workplace. Whereas in an employed setting, there is little control of the culture. When you are the one making the decisions, everything that happens within the workplace is within your purview.
- Unlimited Income Potential – While an employed setting may provide a stable financial opportunity, there is no limit to how successful your private setting can become. As in any business, you can grow the practice into whatever you envision and with greater success comes greater reward, financial and otherwise.
- Work/Life Balance – When you run your own practice, you can control your work schedule. It may take time, but eventually, you can be in a position to work as many or as few hours as suits your lifestyle.
- Patient Relationships – In a self-employed setting, physicians have opportunities to develop relationships with their patients. Research has shown that when a doctor gets to know their patient, the result is that both are more satisfied with the level of care and overall experience.
The results of physician job satisfaction surveys show that employed physicians and self-employed physicians have similar levels of job satisfaction, with self-employed physicians just slightly more satisfied. With that, it is safe to infer that physicians should choose the practice setting that is best aligned with their individual career goals and workplace preferences. The employment outlook for physicians is continuing to grow at a rapid pace which means that there will continue to be plenty of opportunities to choose from regardless of the practice setting.
If you want to explore the many opportunities that are available for your physician career, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.
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