Where? How? Why? Doctors Offer Insights Into Healthcare's Future

A new report offers insights into the future of medicine. It shows many physicians are thinking about career changes, and 1 in 4 report burnout and stress.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.”

—Leo Tolstoy

What does the face of medical practice look like—today and tomorrow? Where and how do doctors want to their engage in the profession of medicine? Well, the only thing that’s certain is change, so today’s physicians had better embrace it.

The Medicus Firm is out with its annual Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey for 2016. According to the Dallas-based Medicus, a total of 2,413 providers representing more than 21 specialties and 50 states completed the survey, which included physicians in practice and in training.

Here are some survey highlights:

• The nation’s southeast region remains the most desirable area for doctors to practice medicine, with 23% of those surveyed indicating it as their top spot. The country’s Pacific region finished second at 14%.

• Single-specialty group practice was the leading choice for most doctor’s preferred professional setting—up to 34% from 28% favorite last year. Hospital employment (20%) was the second-favorite professional setting for doctors.

• As far as physician pay for 2015, just 37% said they were satisfied with their compensation, while 34% indicated dissatisfaction. As to future income growth, only about 29% of doctors project that their income with increase in 2016.

• The top two practice concerns for doctors were compensation (declining reimbursements) and work/life balance issues. “More than 70% of residents and fellows selected ‘Work/Life Balance’ as one of their top two practice concerns, and 45% of practicing physicians did.” Surprisingly, just 25% of doctors said professional “burnout and stress” was a top two concern.

• When looking for doctor jobs, most of those surveyed said the learned of opportunities by going online or making a connection through a colleague. The third top employment finder was using a recruiter.

• Almost 1 in 5 doctors say they plan to make a career change within the next 12 months. Only 27% indicated they are “definitely not” making a career move this year.

• When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, there was a fairly substantial decline in physician approval. Only 71% of respondents gave Obamacare a passing grade compared to 83% last year. Just 3% said that the ACA deserved an A-grade.

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