For the first time since the group began tracking physician employment trends, the American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the percentage of physicians who are employed — working in a hospital, for instance — now outpaces the percentage who own their own practices. According to the most recent survey, taken in September 2018, 47.4 percent of doctors are employed while 45.9 percent are in privately owned practices.

health-care-spending-to-rise-5.5%-annuallyDespite the decline in physician ownership, most doctors still work in smaller practices. “This share has fallen slowly but steadily since 2012. In 2018, 56.5 percent of physicians worked in practices with 10 or fewer physicians compared to 61.4 percent in 2012,” the study¬†found.

Ownership tends to be higher among the specialties: surgeons own 64.5 percent of their own practices, while the percentage for those in obstetrics-gynecology sits at 53.8.