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Why More Employed Physicians Are Considering Private Practice

Est. Reading Time: 2 Minutes

In 2020, the American Medical Association (AMA) observed that — for the first time — employed physicians outnumbered their independent counterparts. Today, as many as three-quarters of physicians are employed by hospitals, health systems, or corporations. 

At Privia, we believe independent doctors are integral yet undervalued in healthcare. That’s why we help employed physicians seamlessly shift to private practice.

We’ll dive into how we help our partners make the transition in our next post. But first, let’s look at how two misconceptions steer doctors away from private practice.

Misconception #1: Running a Private Practice Distracts from Patient Care

Some doctors gravitate toward employment to avoid what they perceive as the overwhelming administrative hassle of running a practice. Why spend hours haggling with payers or troubleshooting IT when you could instead focus on caring for patients?

That’s certainly understandable, but that perspective overlooks the value of autonomy and a supportive partnership.


Discover how a partnership helped one internist reduce “administrivia” and dedicate more time to patients.


As Sonal Patel, MD, noted in an op-ed for the AMA: “Practice ownership meant more autonomy, more independence, more control over my destiny as a physician to change healthcare and help my patients.” 

Additionally, a physician enablement partner like Privia Health can simplify practice management by: 

  • Offloading payer contracting, IT, electronic health record (EHR) management, and other administrative tasks to talented teams.
  • Cultivating physician leadership through governance and training programs.
  • Offering robust resources, such as clinical research opportunities, telehealth, and an integrated portal to engage patients.
  • Recruiting staff and clinicians to delegate non-clinical work so you can prioritize patient care while growing your practice.


Misconception #2: Employed Physicians Make More Money

Many physicians opt for employment over private practice because they believe it offers greater financial security with less risk.

However, there are two reasons why this isn’t necessarily the case: 

  • Net Income vs. Salary. Medscape found that self-employed physicians actually earn 20 percent more. While employed doctors may receive a predictable and competitive salary, self-employed doctors with no pay-cap can pocket all revenue less expenses.
  • Volume-to-Value Transition. Private practices are well-positioned for value-based care. They have the agility to adapt to shifting payer trends and the potential to earn significant bonuses in value-based arrangements.



Learn how Privia’s expertise and tech helped this doctor excel in value-based care.


A physician enablement partner can not only simplify the journey from employment to private practice but also promote financial success by:

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