Physicians have an array of options to choose from and it requires personal introspection to reach a decision as to exactly what is it that they want to do. One could decide to work on their own, they could join a small practice, be a part of a larger group or be a part of a multispecialty group, or become an employee at a hospital or they could even try their hand at academia. Money and lifestyle are some of the parameters that need to be evaluated when determining which path needs to be taken.
One of the benefits of a private practice is that the physician gets to learn many new things as he/she dons many hats and handles all facets. With a private practice physician can give a personal touch in their treatments and analysis which makes them easily approachable and patients feel more comfortable..
Another very important aspect is abolishment of bureaucracy. Swift decisions can be taken to respond to trends and new ideas.
The flip side of a private practice is that since one has to don many hats one might just falter and not do justice to any of the roles. Moreover, in managing the administrative aspects the physician might not carry out his medical duties as well as he is supposed to.
Another drawback is that the capital expenditure is quite high with newer equipment to be bought in order to meet changing trends.
Shift towards salaried employment
Of late there is a definitive trend towards salaried employment. Physicians these days are seen selling their private practices to hospitals to relieve them of the administrative burdens and increasing overheads.
Private practitioners are feeling the pinch of increased overheads and administrative costs. On top of that flat reimbursements are not helping matters hence they feel comfortable in selling off their practices to hospitals so that they can concentrate on patient care.
The benefit of being part of a hospital owned practice is that all jobs are streamlined. There is a dedicated HR team managing the staff, an IT team taking care of the practice management softwares and the accounts team which looks after the billing. Hence, the physician can solely concentrate on treating patients.
Moreover, in a hospital job, physicians can have a fixed remuneration which gets revised every year. This shows that more and more physicians are opting for hospital jobs as they cater to their current needs. Do let us know your thoughts and share more reasons why physicians are opting out of private practices.