New doctors face new realities of care, report says

Doctors who have just finished their residency or fellowship and are about to start their careers will face a changing and tumultuous healthcare environment, says a new report from the American Hospital Association’s

“The basis for your compensation, the size of the organization you join and even your role within that organization are changing. The move from compensation based on the number of procedures to the quality of outcomes makes healthcare organizations hungry for physicians willing to improve healthcare and embrace change,” according to the report.

One major decision for new doctors is whether to work at a hospital or join a private practice, the report noted. About 57 percent of physicians work in practices owned by physicians, while hospitals or practices partially owned by hospitals employ nearly a third of doctors--a percentage that is growing. However, as of 2014, doctors in each group earned the same amount.

Here’s some of the conclusions from the report:

  • New doctors are more likely to work within a larger organization, as the number of small, independent physician practices keeps shrinking.
  • The ability to work as part of a team is a valued skill. With the shift to value-based care, the healthcare environment demands teamwork, as doctors rely on a group of varied practitioners to treat and care for patients.
  • Along with clinical skills, new doctors will require ‘soft’ skills, such as adaptability, empathy, creativity and leadership. Physician leadership will help determine the culture of healthcare organizations.
  • There’s a number of new roles available to physicians, including physician adviser, transitional care provider, chief experience officer and concierge medicine practitioner.
  • The most in-demand medical specialties include family medicine physicians and general internists.  
  • The state where it’s easiest to fill physician positions is Ohio and the state where it’s hardest is New Mexico.
  • Be prepared to work long hours, but not as many as doctors averaged in the past. Physicians over 35 years old work an average of 49.5 hours a week. But only 36 percent work more than 50 hours a week, which is an eight percent drop between 2003 and 2013.

The report also includes a description of the hiring process that new doctors will undergo and compensation and incentive information.

- read the report