Private Practice Market Size and Statistics

Goals

To understand the current addressable market for practicing physicians, specifically those in private practice and how this target market will change over time.

Early Findings

Preliminary findings show that much of the requested data is either publicly available or can be triangulated with reasonable accuracy. Our early findings are below.

PERCENTAGE OF PHYSICIANS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE

  • According to the 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians only 31.4% of physicians were owners of or partners in a private practice compared to 49.1% of physicians who identified as "hospital or medical group employees."
  • A separate study from the Physicians Advocacy Institute found that as of January 2018, 44% of physicians were employed by hospitals. This can further be broken down by region.
  • This represents the lowest percentage of private practice physicians since the survey began in 2012.

TOTAL NUMBER OF PRIVATE PRACTICE PHYSICIANS

  • Based on the Physicians Advocacy report, as of January 2018, there were 168,800 physicians employed by hospitals.
  • Using the Physicians Advocacy numbers, we can use the total number of physicians employed by hospitals (168,800) and the percentage of physcians employed by hospitals (44%) to estimate the total number of physicians (168,800 / 0.44 = 383,636).
  • From there, we can triangulate the approximate number of physicians in private practice (383,636 x 31.4% = 120,462).

NUMBER OF PHYSICIANS LEAVING PRIVATE PRACTICE FOR HOSPITALS

  • Between July 2016 and January 2018, 14,000 physicians left private practice and became employees of hospitals.
  • In 2018, overall, 4.3% of physicians surveyed indicated they would become employed by a hospital within the next three years.
  • The survey indicated that 4.1% of physicians who currently own their own practice intend to become employed by a hospital over the next three years.

STUDENTS GRADUATING INTO PRIVATE PRACTICE

  • A survey conducted by Medscape in 2017 found that 21% of medical school residents said they anticipated going into private practice.
  • In contrast, 29% said they would gain employment as a non-partner or practice owner.
  • An additional 20% said they wanted to do both (own a private practice and be an employee of a hospital or medical group).
  • A Merritt Hawkins survey published in 2019 indicated that more than 90% of new physicians "said they would rather be employed than on their own in an independent practice."
  • Of that more than 90%, 43% would rather be employed by a hospital.
  • Only 2% would prefer to practice solo.
  • Using these numbers and the total number of medical school graduates, we could feasibly triangulate the total number of students graduating into private practice.

Proposed next steps:

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