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Are Doctors Prepared for the Business of Medicine?

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Good treatment in medicine doesn’t automatically equate with good business practices. Are doctors prepared for the business of medicine?

This is one of the questions we’ve been looking at with the Saving Private Practice campaign. Here’s a current article from Physicians News Network that looks at a LinkedIn survey on this issue.

A recent LinkedIn survey and related post asked the question: Doctors spend a decade learning how to treat disease, but do they have the skills they need to practice medicine?

Physicians in the U.S. complete four years of medical school followed by several more years of residency and fellowship. Even with all the clinical training, many feel that it does not prepare them for the reality of seeking a career in medicine. Many physicians are exposed to direct patient care, but the problem comes with the limited amount of experience on the business side of healthcare and the ways that they can help contribute to the healthcare system.

In the Linkedin Survey conducted in early February, more than 500 physicians were asked  about their professional goals and the non-clinical skills that they believe are most essential to their careers. A total of 449 respondents are currently practicing in patient care.

Among the findings:

  • 75% of respondents indicated that these non-clinical skills are more important than they were in the past because of how deeply and rapidly the healthcare industry is changing.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (or 68%) said their career goals include better work-life balance, with early-career doctors more likely to desire balance than career-established clinicians.
  • Other career goals for currently practicing doctors include pursuing corporate or consulting roles (39%) and adding administrative responsibilities (38%).
  • 14% of the currently practicing physicians who responded to the survey were in a medical group with five or fewer clinicians.
  • Less than a third of physicians (or 32.7%) worked in an independent private practice last year, according to asurvey from the not-for-profit Physicians Foundation. That number was as high as 48.5% only four years earlier.
  • 37% of respondents in LinkedIn’s survey identified computer and technology skills as key to advancement.
  • Only one in 10 said they plan to start their own practice.

Is the answer to join a larger practice or healthcare group? Read more to find out.

Learn more about the specific services LACMA is offering doctors in private practice.

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