Five findings that influence physicians’ employment and practice decisions

Based off Becker’s Hospital Review

Hunter Frint

There are many driving factors behind the professional and career decisions that physicians make, but there are some factors that are more relevant than others.

The Medicus Firm has been taking surveys in regards to these driving forces behind career changes and professional preferences for 13 years now. The annual survey is called the “Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey” and according to Becker’s includes more than 2,400 providers from 21 specialties, including psychiatry, and 50 states.

Five influencesThis study is relevant because as many as one in five physicians plan to make a career change within the next year, with the majority of the rest being undecided. Only 27 percent are set in their job with no plan to make a change.

Becker’s Hospital Review took a look at the results of this year’s survey and compiled a list of what they deemed the most important five things to know about what concerns physicians. Not surprisingly salary and financial compensation was at the top of the list, but it also includes everyday life outside of work, career advancements, location of work and where they go to find work.

  1. The single most motivating factor inspiring a job change would be financial rewards or scheduling. 

For physicians in practice, financial rewards were the top factor in making career moves, while physicians in training said their work hours would be the greatest factor. Geographic location was also rated an important factor among both groups.

  1. Unsurprisingly, respondents rated compensation and work/life balance as their two greatest concerns for their practice and career. 

After that, the next most pressing concern was work-related burnout and stress. Comparatively, most are not concerned about implementing EMRs, becoming part of an accountable care organization, physician recruitment, online reviews or retirement.

  1. Physicians are nearly evenly split on their satisfaction with compensation.

 Almost 37 percent reported feeling satisfied with their 2015 compensation, while 34 percent reported feeling unsatisfied and 29 percent were neutral. More than half of respondents expect their compensation to remain the same in 2016 as it was in 2015, but almost a third (29.6 percent) believe it will increase, and 18.9 percent believe their 2016 compensation will decrease compared to 2015.

  1. Physicians tend to prefer practices in urban, suburban or mid-sized city areas in the eastern part of the country — New England, the Mid Atlantic and the Southeast. 

The Pacific Northwest has the second most interest among providers. In terms of practice settings, provider preference varies, especially between those in practice and those in training. Physicians in practice find single specialty group practices most appealing, while those in training find hospital employment most attractive.

  1. Physicians look for job opportunities primarily online and by networking with colleagues. 

Recruiting firms were the third most used source, while journal advertisements, social media and smart phone apps were unpopular sources of job opportunities.


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