Indexed on: 10 Nov '13Published on: 10 Nov '13Published in: Obstetrics and gynecology
Selection of a practice setting affects duty hours, practice autonomy, institutional relationships, administrative responsibilities, personal finances, and professional satisfaction. To identify national trends in practice settings reported by the College, we evaluated responses by Fellows (and Junior Fellows) in active practice from six College surveys on professional liability issues between 1992 and 2012. Although half of Fellows remained in an independent private practice, a decline was observed among solo health care practitioners (from 32% in 1992 to 19% in 2012). Direct employment increased either in hospital systems (from 5% to 15%) or as academic faculty (from 9% to 12%). The proportion of Fellows employed by either health maintenance organizations (from 4% to 2%) or the government (2%) remained low. We anticipate that practice settings will be increasingly influenced by health care reform, team-based care with use of nonphysician clinicians, physician age, and increasing subspecialization. Future surveys of Fellows about their practice settings, preferably required at the time of Maintenance of Certification, will aid in evaluating practice settings and their influence on quality of care, cost containment, and health care provider satisfaction.