(HealthDay)—There is a substantial shift in practice environment occurring among surgeons in the United States, with more surgeons becoming employees, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Surgery.
Anthony G. Charles, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues analyzed American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data from 2001 to 2009. Surgeons who were active, nonfederal, and nonresident physicians younger than 80 years of age were included.
The researchers found that the number of surgeons who reported having their own self-employed practice decreased from 48 percent in 2001 to 33 percent in 2009. This decrease corresponded with an increase in the number of employed surgeons, with 68 percent of surgeons in the United States now self-identifying their practice environment as employed. There was a 32 percent increase in the number of surgeons in a full-time hospital employment arrangement between 2006 and 2011. Employment in large group practices was found to be increasingly favored by younger surgeons and female surgeons. Both urban and rural practices had similar employment trends.
"General surgeons and surgical subspecialists are choosing hospital employment instead of independent practice," the authors write.
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