Healthcare News & Insights

Hospitals on a spree to hire more doctors

Fewer doctors are opting to start or join private practices. What makes hospitals so alluring — and what does it mean for health care?  

Last year, more than half of new doctors were hired by hospitals, according to a report by the Medical Group Management Association. And one out of six established doctors works for  hospitals — a number expected to increase.

Two main reasons are behind it: Running a practice, like any small business, can be a struggle. The recent economic slump hasn’t made that any easier. And for new doctors, fresh off the non-stop, high-speed treadmill of medical school, the relative lack of administrative work and shorter hours (or at least, less likely to be insanely long hours) at a hospital can be appealing.

Hospitals benefit too because a larger stable of docs means more patients coming in the door.

For patients too, the trend is likely a good thing: Most aspects of a doctor’s care won’t change whether they see a patient at their own practice or at a hospital. But patients who see hospital-based physicians are likely to receive better-coordinated care if/when they have a condition that requires seeing multiple specialists.

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