AMA to Study Long-Term Effects of Physician Employment

Gathering in Dallas last month for its 2014 Interim Meeting, the American Medical Association House of Delegates adopted a resolution to examine the long-term effects of physician employment.

“While there is much information about how employment affects individual physicians, very little consideration has been given to the effects — positive or negative — of physician employment on our patients and on the medical profession as a whole,” said the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section, which submitted the resolution.

AMA will complete the study and submit a report by November 2015. It will consider questions such as: 

  • What factors have contributed most to increases in the proportion of physicians who are employed?
  • How do employment and concomitant increases in rates of physician “turnover” affect continuity of care and patients’ perceptions that the physicians who treat them are dedicated to their long-term well-being?
  • In what other ways might a physician’s employment status potentially affect the patient-physician relationship, and how might these effects, if problematic, be mitigated?
  • How do increasing rates of employment affect the physician-hospital/health system relationship?
  • How does employment affect physicians’ understanding of and will to engage in advocacy on issues that have historically been of significant importance to physicians, such as medical liability reform and physician payment issues (e.g., the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula)? 
  • What effect will employment ultimately have on the collective voice of the medical profession?

Action, Dec. 15, 2014

Last Updated On

June 17, 2016

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