Why Do Primary Care Residency Graduates Want to Be Employed?

Why Do Primary Care Residency Graduates Want to Be Employed?

The year is 2023 and thousands of primary care residents have already signed letters of intent/employment contracts to work for large hospital systems or large for profit primary care entities. Thinking they will be appreciated, cared for, and have plenty of family time, while making good money will result in a loud wake up call. These employed scenarios are leading to burnout rates close to 80%. Because at the end of the day these primary care systems rely on Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance compensation which does not compensate well for primary care services. These payors also require extreme and time-consuming documentation of preventative items that if not properly done will lead to reduced compensation and penalties. This then puts pressure on the providers to see more than 20 patients/day as well as spending hours in front of computers to fulfill these 3rd party payor requirements. So it is no surprise that after several years of this environment, primary care providers are feeling burned out and would like to find less stressful work yet as one doctor put it, “ Everything else out there is the same song and dance”.

The solution is simple yet requires 1 year of hard work, but the payoff is way more than a physician can imagine. I am sure most residents were told “Don’t start your own solo practice, it doesn’t work” or “If you start a practice you will go out of business”. Most residents are terrified about starting a practice because of what they have heard from professors or there is too much to learn and do.

The reality is this, most solo practice providers who succeed are by far the happiest and well compensated. The key to success is starting out “lean” and incorporating a micropractice mindset. Getting a practice consultant to help you maneuver the initial startup landscape is worth the money. Have a payor mix that is diverse to include insurance, cash payments and monthly DPC arrangements is an important key. This is my world, and it would be the best choice anyone can make. You are in control and are not under the stressors of an employed provider. I know several providers who work part time and are making greater than $200k/year. You take off when you want, and you need only see a fraction of the patient’s volume thus giving patients the quality time they deserve.

Senior residents please give a solo micropractice a try. I promise you will not regret it.