Tomorrow's physicians plan to avoid private practice

Although many practicing physicians report they feel torn about forgoing their independence, most current medical school students (73 percent) plan to pursue employment with a hospital or large system from the get-go, according to a new survey from Epocrates.

In fact, just 10 percent of medical students surveyed said they want to work in a solo or partnership practice, down from 17 percent last year, noted an article from Oncology Practice Digital Network (OPDN).

"More than half of them are dissatisfied with the training they received in med school on practice management and ownership," Anne Meneghetti, M.D., executive director of medical information at Epocrates, told OPDN. "The majority feel unprepared to do the billing and coding and other administrative practice functions in this highly regulated environment."

Other notable findings of the survey of 1,400 medical students representing all 50 states include the following:

  • Work-life balance was cited as a top concern by 60 percent of respondents, an increase from 51 percent in the 2013 survey.
  • A full 96 percent of students agreed with the idea that to deliver high-quality care, physicians must collaborate effectively with extended care teams, which can include registered nurses, physician assistants, specialists and medical staff. However, nearly 60 percent consider lack of communication between care teams the biggest obstacle to effective care coordination.

In an announcement from Athenahealth, Arvind Ravinutala, a third-year student at University of Southern California School of Medicine, suggested that the current system provides few incentives to pursue private practice.

"Training is structured around group and hospital settings, so the average student learns nothing about running a practice. Plus, hospital employers promise candidates a stress-free environment where they can focus on being a doctor without incurring further debt. For most, the choice is obvious," Ravinutala said. 

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the article