The Medicus Firm Blog

June 30 2017

2017 Physician Practice Preference and Relocation Survey - The Medicus Firm Releases 14th Annual Report

July 5th, 2017 - Dallas, Tex., - The Medicus Firm released its 14th annual physician practice preference and relocation survey, revealing a number of physician workforce trends and perspectives from physicians in various practice settings and medical specialties. This year's survey, conducted in May 2017, included 2,351 respondents from 50 states and more than 20 specialties.

"Recruiting physicians has grown increasingly competitive over the past two decades. For the past 14 consecutive years, we have conducted a survey of physician practice preferences to help us, and our clients, better understand what physicians and advanced practice clinicians want most out of their career, and what motivates them in their search for practice opportunities," states Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm.

Key findings this year include:

Most preferred region to live and work: Southeast took the top spot again with 24 percent of the vote. New England/Northeast was second (13.8%), Mid-Atlantic third, and Pacific region was fourth place.

Job Satisfaction and Career Goals: 17 percent of physicians plan to make a career change within the next 12 months. The proportion of doctors citing retirement as a factor in their career change almost doubled over last year, to 16.75 percent, from nine percent in 2016. Doctors were almost evenly divided with their sentiments about their pay. When asked if they are satisfied, dissatisfied, or neutral about their 2016 income, about a third of respondents went in each category. Additionally, 18 percent of doctors said that they would not choose medicine as a career again.

In reviewing the survey results, Stone adds, "With these responses, physicians are indicating that they want the best possible compensation, relative to how much time they have to put into the job. This is significant, as money and schedule are hugely important in building a practice opportunity that is desirable and will keep providers around. It may seem obvious, but in the midst of recruiting, these two priorities can sometimes get lost in the day-to-day grind, if practice administrators aren't able to keep these two key factors in focus at all times throughout the recruiting process."  

Quality-based and Outcomes-based pay: Much has been reported about the transition from volume-based production pay, to quality- and outcomes-based incentives for physician bonus pay. However, nearly half of physicians said that none of their income is based on quality or outcomes. More than 14 percent were unsure, and another 13 percent said that five percent or less of their 2016 income was value- or outcomes based.

Most preferred practice setting: Practicing physicians prefer single-specialty group strongly over hospital employment (32% vs. 16% respectively), while new and future physicians were more evenly split with a preference for both single-specialty group practice and hospital employment (27% vs 25%). (In recent previous years, hospital employment had become the top preference for one or both groups.)

EMR feedback: Physicians gave EMR positive feedback on improving accuracy of patient documentation, but gave it a failing grade on reducing administrative workload.

Affordable Care Act: Each year physicians are asked to grade the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on its efficacy in meeting various objectives. After a dip in approval rating last year, overall approval rating improved this year to 76 percent.

About The Medicus Firm:

The Medicus Firm is a national retained physician recruiting firm specializing in permanent placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians in all specialties and practice settings. Established in 2001, The Medicus Firm is based in Dallas, Texas, and has additional offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boston, Massachusetts. The Medicus Firm has acquired numerous industry awards, distinctions, and partnerships throughout the years, including Best of Staffing Award for Client Satisfaction, Best Places to Work in Healthcare, and Executive Partner of the MGMA. For media inquiries or a copy of the report, please email Andrea at

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