The Physician Shift
Earlier this month, Merritt Hawkins, a physician search and consulting firm, released its 2011 Survey of Final-Year Medical Residents, which shed light on some of physicians’ concerns and expectations upon entering the job market.
Among the key findings shared in a preview of the survey, Merritt Hawkins reported that 32% of residents said they would prefer to be employed by a hospital than any other option, with only 1% indicating they would prefer a solo practice. Additionally, 48% reported they are unprepared to handle the business side of medicine, as just 9% reported they are very prepared.
With those kind of responses—and 56% of residents reporting they received no formal instruction during their medical training regarding medical business issues—a shift in the number of hospital-employed physicians is even more likely to take place.
In light of reimbursement changes ahead, the movement toward electronic health records, and pending healthcare reform likely to cause even more headaches for the private practice, this trend is one expected to continue—not only with physicians just entering the workforce, but those who have already been on their own.
I recall sitting in a session at the American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s Planning, Design, and Construction Summit in Tampa, Florida, early this year and hearing experts discuss the impact this shift will have on healthcare facilities and, subsequently, their design and construction. Not only will facilities need to possibly expand to accommodate a growing physician base, but there also remains the question of what to do with the private practice facilities they may acquire.
How do you think this will affect the construction of new or renovated healthcare facilities, if at all?