One hundred thousand physicians will transition to employees over the next four years, and more than 50% of physicians will cut back on patients seen, will switch to part-time, switch to concierge medicine, retire, or take other steps that will result in about 91 million fewer patient encounters, the survey shows.
Walker says that 75% of physicians don't believe that the migration to employment is a positive trend. That includes 62% of employed physicians who consider it a negative. Those physicians who are opting for employment are doing so, he says, for economic security and relief from "an extreme regulatory environment."
"Physicians think of themselves as being autonomous in making decisions in the patient's best interest, but employed physicians have to have one ear open to what their employer is saying. Otherwise they put their jobs in jeopardy," he says.
Most physicians just want out.
"We found that 60% said they would retire today if given the opportunity. What was worrisome is that this is up from 45% in 2008," Walker says. "We also know from the survey that we disaggregated it into certain categories, 47% of physicians under 40 said they would retire today if given the opportunity."