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April 1, 2014

Why choose employment over self-employment?

One of the first steps in a physician’s job search is determining which type of practice to pursue. For many, this means deciding between employment and self-employment. Physicians trying to decide between the two should check out Medscape’s Employed Doctors Report, which was released last month and summarizes 4,600 physicians’ responses about what they like and dislike about employment. Here are a few of the

The most popular reason (cited by 38 percent of physicians) for choosing employment over self-employment was financial security.
The most popular reason (cited by 38 percent of physicians) for choosing employment over self-employment was financial security.

most interesting findings:

  • Reasoning: The most popular reason (cited by 38 percent of physicians) for choosing employment over self-employment was financial security.
  • Employment pros: Similarly, guaranteed income was one of the things physicians reported that they liked most about employment. Forty-two percent listed this among their three favorite things. The only more popular answers were not having to deal with insurers and billing (45 percent) and not having to deal with the business of running the practice (58 percent).
  • Employment cons: Though employment provides more income security, it provides less income potential. This was physicians’ second most popular dislike about employment, cited by 44 percent of physicians. Limited influence in decision-making was the most popular dislike, cited by 45 percent.
  • Satisfaction: Satisfaction was almost exactly equal among employed and self-employed physicians. Seventy-four percent of self-employed physicians said they were satisfied overall, compared with 73 percent of employed physicians.
  • Happiness: Among physicians who’d switched between employment and self-employment, 70 percent of self-employed physicians said they were happier since the switch, compared with 49 percent of employed physicians who reported the same.
  • Work-life balance: Additionally, 56 percent of employees who had left private practice for employment said their work-life balance had improved as a result. Only 15 percent said it had worsened.
  • Willingness to recommend: The majority of employed physicians - 64 percent - said that they would recommend employment over self-employment.

To see more of Medscape’s findings, including information about employed physicians’ satisfaction with patient care, autonomy, income and more, click here for the full report.

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