Inbox: Readers Recommend Employment for Young Docs

December 26, 2017
Dylan Fisher

Readers weigh in on whether young docs should jump into private practice or become employed following med school.

Editor's note: We work hard to write about issues that will help physicians run their practices in a manner that is both prosperous and efficient, while still delivering quality patient care. And we are delighted when our readers let us know what they are thinking. This month we excerpt from a slideshow on providers wish lists as well as an article examining how we can get more young docs to practice independently. The articles have been edited for space and are followed by comments made by readers at PhysiciansPractice.com.

Bringing Young Docs to Independent Practice

More and more final-year medical residents are flocking to employment. According to a 2017 survey of 935 final-year medical residents by Merritt Hawkins, a healthcare recruiting company, the majority (94 percent) prefer employment with a salary in their first practice rather than an independent practice income guarantee or loan. A major reason for this is significant student loans.

James says: I would recommend working for someone else, until you get your feet wet and some money in the bank. Working for yourself definitely has its ups and downs. But having some bean counter or worse yet, practice administrator telling you what do all day long was not appealing to me. My income also doubled within the first year, which is not so bad either.

Donna says: I do not recommend that any new physician start out independent. Grow your practice as an employed physician. Work closely with your partners to learn everything you can and establish networks. Buy your home and your car and pay down your debts. Then, and only then, consider working for yourself.

Francis says: I spent three years working for others before opening my own practice. It takes time to try on the shoes to see what fits best. It also takes time to see what kind of practice patterns you develop, and how you want to structure your day. As a specialist, I also wanted time to establish a reputation and relationships so that I was relatively assured of steady referrals. Someone right out of training would be reckless in taking a loan to start something without having any idea on how to do it.

Randy says: Those of us who have business experience really need to take on the challenge [of] mentoring younger doctors who lack such experience as well as fear the risk of a business venture. Running one's own practice certainly isn't for everyone, but there are some adventurous young docs out there and we need to perpetuate that entrepreneurial spirit.

Healthcare Providers Share Their Holiday Wish List

It's that time of year. It's time to make a list, check it twice, and send it out to all of your relatives, friends, and perhaps even the big guy in the North Pole. We asked members of our editorial advisory board what they're wishing for this holiday season. Is it healthcare related or is it personal? Is it practical or is it a "pie in the sky" kind of gift? Here's what they had to say.

Patricia says: My wish, though probably not popular among physicians is for universal healthcare (single payer) system in the United States. I think that dealing with multiple claim forms (all different), multiple payers, lack of insurance, etc. takes a lot of the fun out of practicing medicine in the United States.

Roberta replies: What you are really wishing for is Direct Care. Imagine not having to fill out ANY forms and just focusing on taking care of the patient. Single payer sounds good because you think you won't have to fill out 15 different forms. In reality, you'll be filling out one form that is 15 times longer.

G Says: My wish is for electronic records [that] actually talk to each other. Isn't this one of the reasons why the government gave a stipend for individuals to adopt electronic records to begin with? Also to abolish prior authorizations.