Published in the December 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
YOU OFTEN HEAR that physician employment by hospitals is sharply on the rise, but the reality is that many hospitalists aren’t employed by the hospital in which they work. According to the 2011 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, more than half of hospitalists say they’re employed by an organization other than the hospital where they work. Our data also shed some light on how many hospitalists work in teaching hospitals and smaller facilities.
Who is employing hospitalists?
While only 44.7% of hospitalists say they’re employed directly by hospitals, another 10% are employed by universities and medical schools, which often have ownership stakes in hospitals where their physicians work. As a result, the number of hospitalists working for hospitals could be viewed as just over 50%. Over the last four years, the numbers haven’t changed significantly, although the number of hospitalists working for hospitals or hospital corporations has jumped 1%.
Hospitalists at teaching hospitals
While hospitalists play an important role in teaching young physicians, less than half of hospitalists say they work in a teaching facility. Pediatric hospitalists are much more likely to work at a teaching hospital (61%) than adult hospitalists (40%). Most of the hospitalists working at teaching hospitals work at community-based facilities (66%) instead of university-based facilities (33%).
Bed capacity where hospitalists work
Our data also show that hospitalists tend to work at the nation’s bigger hospitals, or facilities that have 300 or more beds. In the four years we’ve been collecting these data, there has been an increase in the number of hospitalists working at larger hospitals, but the shift may be too small (a few percentage points) to be significant. Adult hospitalists are more likely to work at larger hospitals (323 beds) than pediatric hospitalists (276 beds), and the largest facilities where hospitalists work tend to be in the Northeast (340 beds) and the South (339 beds).