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4 Reasons Private Physicians Should Be Thankful That They’re Self-Employed



November is the designated time of year to reflect on all that we’re thankful for. For private practice physicians, it’s time to take a moment and appreciate all the good things about striking out on your own. You might feel a little better about being independent after hearing the results of a recent survey. Last spring, Medscape interviewed 4,600 doctors to find out who was better off: employed or self-employed. Some key findings of this job satisfaction survey showed private practice has a lot to be thankful for:

  • Self-employed doctors are more satisfied.
  • 70% of physicians who left employment for self-employment are happier.
  • But only 49% of physicians who left self-employment for employment are happier.

So based on the “Employed vs. Self-Employed: Who’s Better Off?” survey responses, there are four key things you can be thankful for if you are a self-employed physician. Here is a Thanksgiving mantra for private practice physicians:

I’m thankful I can make my own decisions.

Unlike your employed colleagues, you have the ability to make your own decisions. You enjoy a greater level of autonomy. Less than half of employed respondents were satisfied with their ability to make their own decisions. Five out of six of the top reasons doctors gave for not liking their employed situation were the result of a lack of autonomy. Here are some insights into their reported challenges:

  • “The administration functions like the mafia.”
  • “I could be let go at any time.”
  • “I’m not really being bossed around, but I do have to kiss some butt.”
  • “No control over the hiring or firing of support staff.”
  • “Zero input into management decisions.”

I’m thankful I don’t have management telling me what to do.

Many self-employed doctors didn’t feel they had much input in practice decisions. While some felt that management at least considered their opinions, 44% felt they were treated not as partners, but as employees. So something to be thankful for this season–you don’t have to kiss butt or deal with the “mafia.”

I’m thankful I have income potential.

One of the drawbacks of being employed is the lack of income potential. The trade-off for employment security is a salary that not many are happy with. Only 49% of employed docs reported being happy with their income. The nature of their compensation is also an issue. Most employed doctors only receive a straight salary and no bonuses (46%). Others that do receive more than salary are compensated based on productivity targets. And that leads to the next reason to be thankful you’re in private practice:

I’m thankful I have control of my schedule.

One of the benefits of being self-employed is being able to control your own schedule and practice at your own pace. Employed practitioners usually have a quota. They on average have to see 16-20 patients a day. Given these drawbacks, it’s no wonder that in the survey, 38% of the employed doctors say that they may change their job situation in the future. This means that haven’t completely given up the dream of a fulfilling life in private practice someday.

What’s not to like about being self-employed?

The financial challenges of private practice and the hassles surrounding billing, office management, and administrative issues were one of the few functions that employed physicians were glad to be rid of. But unlike the employed, self-employed peers in private practices have options. They can take advantage of state-of-the-art practice management solutions, electronic health records (EHR) systems, and comprehensive solutions for billing, collections, and insurance reimbursements.

We have the solutions.

AdvancedMD is one of the nation’s largest providers of cloud medical practice software. Our system can offers an all-in-one EHR and practice management solution that allows you to optimize schedules, simplify check-in and checkout, document patient encounters, prescribe and order, capture and pursue revenue, measure financial performance, and practice on the go. AdvancedMD simply makes running your practice easier. Learn more about how AdvancedMD can keep you being thankful for being in private practice. Call a representative today at (800) 825-0224 or go to

Source: “Employed vs Self-Employed: Who’s Better Off?” Medscape. March 11, 2104.

Topic: EMR/EHR, Medical Billing

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